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Did COVID-19 just cancel 2020?

“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.”

- Phillip Sweet

Nothing could have prepared us for how 2020 rolled in with a whole pandemic friends! #Corona - oh #Corona! I have to say - I didn't know what this year had in store for us except my wanting to start off by tackling some unfinished business. There was a work situation that went on longer than it needed to so as far as I was concerned, bottles were really only going to start popping after I scaled that hurdle.

I stashed the notion of New Years’ resolutions three years ago when I realized that sitting down and writing down a whole list of goals for the new year almost always resulted in total fails and that disappointed “Eish, oh well!” on the inside by January 22nd. Life is a series of decisions that motivate our actions. We have what we pray for, work towards and wait patiently on. But what happens when life throws in a whole curve ball that leaves us literally asking ourselves what just happened.

It's March and as far as I can tell, everything's going to be closed for the remainder of the month if not longer. #Corona hit us all by rapidly making its way across the world from some place called #Wuhan in China. Today our kids are at home and we are frantically trying to figure out what online schooling will look like for 4-18 year olds, everyone's walking around with a mask on like its the apocalypse, there's no toilet paper in stores, flights may get you out the country but there's no guarantee that they'll bring you back in, no football games, no NBA season, remaining sporting fixtures will be spectator-less, no bookings are being taken by that resort you've waited all of last year to be able to go to this Easter - and well...the list goes on really...

Most are operating in panic mode, others are scrolling feeds day in and out just to see whether any new updates will affect their current position. Some learned to wash their hands over the past 2 weeks and still, others of us really can't be asked because we have a lot to deal with already and it's all in no way, shape or form - tied to the rampage Corona's on. So in the spirit of distracting you all from current affairs and prophesies of doom, updates on which celebrity tested positive for Corona and which governments are still permitting people to gather for events and political rallies....(shame on them if any of the sort are out there!) I thought to go off on a tangent by drumming in some cool tips for doing life better and on the path of personal reinvention as we press ahead with what has been an interesting start to the year.

Trust and believe, this is by no means to undermine the impact of what's going on around us or to sound like I i fall in the category of those who really can't be asked. There's a lot going on today, yet I choose to join the masses of those opting out of adding more negative chatter to an already hectic situation. Somewhere along the noisy way, its quite easy to throw our goals out the window. There's a lot we can't control but there's also plenty we can. We may be limited in what we can and cannot do at the minute but that shouldn't keep us from keeping hope alive and putting time aside to water our dreams. And so allow me to share my approach to resetting and reinventing yourself while working towards your “next big thing” for 2020 - just so you are good and ready when the pandemic declarations are lifted and life begins to get back to normal...

1. Get ready to sweat and wreck your brain some if you want to see real results this year! Radical transformation is hard. For some, the entire year needs a whole do-over because the start was a mess. But yet here we are, trying to figure out how to keep going. Getting out of debt means you’re going to have to endure seasons of sacrifice with beans and toast for dinner before the steak dinners, drinks and a night out on the town come around. Raising enough funding to make a lucrative investment may have you skip out on a holiday or two while everyone in your circle is seemingly catching flights and you – all sorts of feelings! Hate to tell ya, but no sacrifice, no victory friends. If you want to see some real changes in your life, you’re going to have to get comfortable doing the uncomfortable, skipping on some fun so you can work your way towards success. We've all gotten a taste of what that looks like. No football, no nights out with the pals in my part of the this and that. Yet we survived another day and there's been lessons in the madness. What can you do without to put you in a better position for the months ahead?

2. Focus on the things you want. Others call it “prioritizing.” I call it focusing on the things I want to see happen in the immediate future. The world is super noisy, and most of that hullabaloo adds no value to your life. Trust. Last year I spent many man hours researching markets and investment opportunities because I had my eye set on making an investment move before the year was out. I could get anything else done this year, but if I didn’t close in on this one thing that had been a prayer point for years, I wouldn’t feel as though I had won at 2019. And so that that’s what I did. Any spare moment I had, I spent in learning more about this particular thing of interest. And you know what, in July 2019 I witnessed its manifestation. I always knew GOD was going to answer my prayer and reward me for working at it, but focusing on this thing took my attention away from the stress of waiting for it to come alive. Each day my goals got bigger and my knowledge increased. It was so much fun playing and winning that this will definitely be a repeated exercise for 2020 - if everyone can just calm down and we can all wash our hands and not sneeze on each other and things. If you’ve got something you’ve been meaning to achieve for the longest, now is the time - while everyone else is seemingly distracted - to apply that surgical focus.

3. Connect with people relevant to your pursuits. This should be a big one for all of us desiring real change. We all have set motivations behind the things we seek in life. Marketers will tell you that consumers have a set of reference groups they turn to in their decision making before they purchase a car, a house or anything else designed to satisfy a want or a need. As you build your connection circle, ensure that they are aligned with your vision for your future. You have no business connecting with the neighbourhood bricklayer unless he’s your uncle, or is about to lay down the foundation to a house you are building. Now, I’m not saying people having some sort of connection to your pursuits should be a barometer for how you strike up relationships. I’m simply saying move with people that share your same mind and tenacity as it pertains to pursuing goals. People who go hard at hustling like you do will understand you when you say you’re working on something or need help with ideas for growth. They’ll also likely know someone you need to know for your next move – which is often times a win-win for everyone. A relevant circle is a good circle.

4. Manage your time like your life depends on it. As with everything else – time is money and we don’t have all day. Planning counts for nothing if we then don’t execute with consciousness of the limitations associated with time. Wasted time is wasted money. We usually have pretty tight windows to get a lot of what we need to get done done. To avoid wallowing in the strain of getting started, simply list your action points for each day and hash them out the best way possible. Eventually it all comes together. You may be knocked out for six after all’s said and done – but it’s done, and that’s the goal right?

5. Celebrate the smallest of wins this 2020. Key to keeping the momentum is encouraging yourself along the way. Yes, some may have taken a beating on the stock market, businesses have taken a hit globally on account of this awful virus, sadly some have succumbed to it and all we can do is pray for healing for those affected. On the other side of any bad is usually a good - of we choose to see it. Getting what we desire is often an arduous task, and effort doesn’t always mean you reach the finishing line right away. Whatever you have set in mind to achieve in the coming year, do it while acknowledging that you’re doing the best you can with it. Focusing on what’s going well as opposed to what hasn’t happened yet makes all the difference in keeping your mind right in the midst of pressure. No win is ever too small. Celebrate your way to total victory and completion - whatever that looks like for you.

Now friends, while all of the above may be good and dandy, I’m sure there are some things you would have liked to have changed about 2019 or most recently - Q1! We are often encouraged to not focus on our past, to take our failures as learning moments and so on. I’ll leave you with four words that will help you not to waste time chasing the same mess and expecting a different result.

Know when to fold.

We are often told never to quit. Quitting isn’t ideal but is so very necessary when something’s simply not working – or won’t work. You simply cannot be in two places at the same time neither can you please two people with opposing views. Doing better in 2020 will require you to know which battles to fight and which side you’re on when fighting them. If you are hemorrhaging money and there’s no sign of a turnaround anywhere on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to cut your losses and keep it moving. Yes, I've been there too. Along the way and with whatever decision you make, remember to communicate to everyone who is a part of what’s going on. Acceptance and communication are two of the most critical elements of getting ahead and maintaining your focus.

As we press on with the remainder of the year ahead - because it is moving very fast - may we hold on to the fact that we do have the power to shape our lives and we do carry the capacity to push harder. We can absolutely RESET AND REINVENT if we desire real and meaningful change. Having focus after pressing the reset button is directly correlated with how much we get done as we do life. The question begs then: besides washing your hands which you should have been doing anyway, what will you be doing differently to witness visible progress in the remainder of 2020?

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