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Your most important New Year resolution

Saturday December 15 2018

Thinking different is the key resolution to make this coming year. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Thinking different is the key resolution to make this coming year. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Thinking different is the key resolution to make this coming year.

When I give talks especially at this time of the year, it’s the same story.

The intention on New Year Resolutions was there but you just never got round to doing it. You must get to the point when you realise that something has got to change.

That change starts in your mind; how you think about things.

Joseph had vowed to go into business with his family year on year. His parents have a construction company which they want to leave to him to run.

For the last couple of years, he has been intending to leave his job for this business. And every year, he has been finding a reason not to do it. It has never been the right time, the right finances have not been in place, etc.



The truth is that is his family ambition was not his. It is very hard to achieve somebody else’s dream.

Are the goals you are setting this coming year really yours or are they the ones expected of you? Let’s just start with the famous ‘I’ll save and invest more this year’. Sounds noble enough. It is a good and prudent thing to do.

Most people try and fall flat on their faces. Many of us have started the year well and by the end of the first quarter reverted back to our habits.

The savings reduce or stop altogether. The question may of us fail to answer is the WHY? Saving is good and great habit but like anything else it helps to have an end goal that means something to you, to give it staying power.

Do you intend to go on holiday with that saving? Buy a car? Pay for your kid’s education? Get out of debt? Put a chunk of it into your retirement investment plan? Just accumulate a balance? Start a business?

And do all these things have some sort of meaning to you? If you are really honest with yourself, maybe the things you truly want don’t seem acceptable to the people around you or you have been working towards what other people want for you.


What if what seems right is simply not right for you? Jane knew that the ‘right’ thing to do with her golden handshake was to invest it somewhere safe.

After all, she knew that the older you get, the less risk that you can take. However, she just felt pulled to farm. She tried everything but two months into retirement she knew sitting back was just not for her.

She shadowed a farmer and shortly, she was farming. She invested her entire retirement package there. Not what most financial advisors would tell you to do but she felt the pull and her instincts just drew her in that direction.

She lost money in the first couple of years but is now doing well. In hindsight she does not regret it even though it was a tough call at first.

Many success stories turn out like Jane’s, especially if people see the hardships through. There are no direct facts or logic to support it but it is what you feel you should do. Jane simply tested her instinct out by shadowing somebody else. That’s what is known as research.

People give up on this pull, which often comes packaged as a business of some sort or a career path completely different from traditional training because there are no immediate facts to support the move. It is an idea or feeling that you cannot justify.

This time round, allow yourself to sit quietly and think about what you do want; not what you have been taught, expected or conditioned to want.

Also, what is your instinct telling you? There are obviously some practical goals in your life e.g. pay bills, school fees, retirement etc. but the momentum comes from figuring out yourself and what role you uniquely play. Facts serve a purpose but they are also not meant to box you in.

So the key thing you need to do before you set all those goals is allowing yourself to think differently and ask yourself these two important questions: What do I really want? Why do I want it? There are no wrong answers. Think differently!




Waceke runs programmes on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Get in touch with her on [email protected]|Facebook/WacekeNduati| [email protected]