A Hopeful 30 Days – The Finale?

Over the last 30 days, 47 people recorded their hopes, dreams, expectations, aspirations, resolutions, goals and targets for 2016 on this blog. It seems like a small thing to string a few words together stating how you hope and pray your year goes but as reports that have fed back over the last four years have shown, it goes a long, long way in setting the (right) pace for the new year. I like to say partaking in this exercise is the first tangible step towards making these dreams a reality and this has rung true for many so far.

But is it enough?

Personally, I find it hard to regularly come back and study my words and make a conscious effort to make them into something concrete. Especially as we get deeper into the year and farther away from the day the words were laid down. This may not be the case for everyone of us, but I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who goes through this. Life has a way of forcing us to live in the moment and turn our minds from reflecting or projecting.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make #30DaysOfHope better, more purposeful and make more of an impact to participants. After all, what would be the point of being a part of this project if you’re simply going to write a few words down and forget about them a few days/weeks/months later? I needed to figure out a way for us to more actively pursue the things we hoped to achieve. And then it struck… We can keep our dreams alive by actively and purposefully revisiting them. Together.

Introducing the #30DaysPurposeful #MidYearReview.

In July, everyone who’s taken part in this year’s exercise gets the opportunity to review their year so far, directly referencing their January entries. This way, we get to give ourselves a reality check by answering the hard questions.

How focused have I been on attaining my goals?
How would I score myself thus far?
How far have I gone to make my dreams a reality?
What plans do I need to improve on?
Do I need to push harder?
Do I need help?
Am I on the right path?
Should I change course a little? Or a lot?
Heck, should I scrap this vision entirely? Maybe defer it?
Which of my targets are now redundant?
What do I need to start on right now if I’m going to get it done this year?

Of course, this is entirely optional but the benefits of participating are self evident. Participants who choose to go through with this admittedly difficult exercise get to retain the same day their January entries were published.

In the spirit of fairness, the #MidyearReview will also be open to folk who were not published here in January. The only requirement is for you to have published your hopes/dreams/goals/targets/aspirations/expectations/resolutions somewhere online (your blog, facebook, tumblr, instagram, twitter, anywhere linkable and accessible really) before the 15th February. This is because you’ll be linking back to it when doing your mid year review. This will be the only requirement for participating 😊

Perhaps you see the benefits of doing this, but you’re a private person. I’d like to encourage you to go ahead. You don’t need olatoxic or this blog to “write down the vision and make it plain”. You don’t even need to publish it anywhere. It could be for your eyes only. Or only the eyes of your most loved one(s). Just be purposeful.

As we bow out of January 2016, I pray for everyone reading this a wholly purposeful and fulfilling 2016. May the winds in your sails blow long and strong. May your journey(s) be most fruitious. Though your smile may wane, may it never fade away. You shall laugh many laughs, deep and true.

As you pursue your dreams, ladies and gentlemen, Godspeed.

 

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Dark 30: Dami

Is it too late to say happy new year? Nah, I don’t think so. So happy new year everyone.

First of all, thank you Olatokunbo for inviting me to feature here, I feel so honoured.
2016, wow!!! I entered the year with a broken leg, on a hospital bed, with mixed feelings of thankfulness , morose, down-in-the-dumpness and a tinge of joy.
Over the past few years, I just found myself slipping from God and evolving into this fearful, faithless, person that lacked the inner joy of truly connecting with the Living God.
But 2016 is going to be different. I’m going to take a lesson from this broken leg and lean on God, depend on Him fully. It’s not going to be easy but there’s going to be an improvement in my relationship with The Lord. To pray without ceasing or fainting, to fast, grow my faith, increase in love and to read my bible. the devil has taken so much advantage of me, it ended with last year. Jesus girl loading…. Hallelujah sombarry?
I’ve been wanting to lose some weight and get fit, and even as I ponder, the dark voice tells me that I can’t, what if I break my leg again or injure something? But after my doctors give me the go ahead, I’m going to lose a lot of this weight.
I hope to pick up my guitar again and strum some.
I’m going to finish housejob and serve my country this year.
I’m going to learn how to make amala, use my oven to grill stuff like chicken, meat, fish. I’m going to be more experimental in the kitchen department.
This year, my eyebrow and gele game are going to be on point.
I’m going to be involved in church a lot, join a department or 2, be faithful, be involved.
I hope to resurrect my blog. Loll, I can already see Rolayo rolling her eyes, but I mean it.
I also hope to be more generous while learning to rely on God for everything I need, desire and want.
I’m going to hang out with my husband more often, I’ve discovered that he’s more involved in my life than I am in his.
I am going to overcome my fear and learn how to suture tissue, viscera, vessels and skin properly, I personally don’t know how a doctor can be scared of sewing people up. I’m also going to learn how to secure any iyalaya IV line with boldness.
I’m going to save N366000 this year.
I’m going to have more fun this year and keep my friends really close this year.
Yeah, one more thing, I’m going to sew all my asoebis from years back this year.
2016 is my year of walking on water, overcoming my fears, being bold and being an ambassador for Christ by God’s grace.
Here’s to 2016, I’m going to walk, run, leap and soar in Jesus name and all steps will be ordered by The Lord.
Peace, love and joy everyone.

______________________________

I read Dami’s 2015 review and was in awe as to how positive minded she was in spite of a recently broken leg.

Awful glad she’s flying that spirit into 2016. I have no doubts that you shall soar, Dami.

Dusk 30: Valerie

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Habakkuk 2; 2-3

I love to plan, to write down my goals, get a vision board, the works. It helps to know (and see) where you are going, so that you know that every step you take only brings you closer to your goals. So that is what I am doing, even here, writing the vision. I love beginnings, so naturally, I love the New year. The First day of the first month.

My Tagline for the year is Lean In.

This means that this is the year that I do anything and everything that interests me, and not just as a passing interest. This is the year that I commit and follow through. I am going to put myself out there. I am going to reach out and take it, whatever it is that I want. It means that I will work hard and I will take chances. I will lean in, in all aspects of my life.

Relationships
I will trust God completely, and my faith will not falter. I will attend church more, and I will talk to God more. With my friends and people that need me, I will stretch out my hand and help. I will offer prayers, support and services. I will offer my shoulders, and my arms for hugs. I will try to be a beacon of light and hope, and even when it is difficult, I will be kind.

Self development
I will learn and I will grow. Not just in my career, but in my personal interests as well. I will start writing again and I will start my blog (which I have). Please find me here https://medium.com/@Nenz and on www.cateyesandcarrots.co. I will take every opportunity, and I will work it. I know that I will be tired, but even then, I will make sure that I do my best.

Health and Fitness
This is the year that I get to love myself, my body and food. Food is not the enemy, and neither am I. This is the year that I settle in to this body, seeing as it is the only one I have.

Finances
I want to get my finances right this year. I want to tithe on everything. I also want to help those that need help in anyway that I can. I want to lean in and be a person that makes other peoples lives better, like what is being done at www.athousand1000.com/, to know that because of me, someone can drink clean water at the very least.

‘Order my steps in your word, dear Lord. Lead me, guide me every day.’

That is what I am asking, that God orders my steps. That every step of the way he leads me to the path that he has created for me.

“While you are working, help me be still.”

This is my prayer, that I trust the process. That I am still while God sorts it. That I continue to believe that there are no insurmountable forces.

I genuinely feel like 2015 was the ground work for the 2016 that God has prepared for me.

“You have to force yourself to place big bets on the future.”

Well, here I am, at the end of January, betting on mine again.


Day 30: Stanley

“They say the goodness in life belongs to those who believe. So, I believe.” – Mos Def (Love, 1999).

I believe…

For the last 10 years, I have always had goals for each year. It doesn’t necessarily mean I achieve them within the time set.  I have spent 3 years achieving a goal I had set to achieve in one year. Some, longer. But I kept writing them down every year. And my planning for goals has gotten better with time.

On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, I woke up and decided it was time to quit my job as a Strategic Marketing Manager with a marketing agency. The next day, I bought a bus ticket for Abuja, and 2 days later, I hit the road.

I would love to do a lot of that this year – take spontaneous trips and travel by road to far locations; sleep in cheap hotels. I am an adventurous person, but sometimes I feel like that part of me is caged. I want to free that guy; starting with exploring places in Nigeria, then Africa.

People often complain about January; it’s a slow month, money isn’t available. But my January has been awesome. I have not lacked in anyway. I have had a few consulting gigs, and even though sometimes I catch myself thinking, “This isn’t enough, I need more money. There are so many bills to take care of,” I ask myself, “what if you didn’t even get this income that just came in at all?” I should be the last person to complain. I am very grateful. 

This year, I have 4 top priority goals. For some reason, all my top goals are around my finances and business/professional career.

  1. Get my investment up to NXXX million
  2. Achieve objectives set for Barows 21
  3. Start a new company, but with me only owning a piece of it
  4. Complete the CIM professional certificate stage and begin the diploma stage. Achieving this would be a step towards becoming a chartered marketer and getting my degree.

I am really happy I have started working on all these goals.

A 9 – 5 is still on the cards, but I am open to strictly working on my personal projects as well.

Two weeks ago, I started working as a Communications Specialist with a non-profit in a volunteer capacity. I want to specialise in integrated marketing communications, so the experience is good. However, I have felt that the role is not challenging enough. We will see how it goes.

From a thought I just had, A Thousand 1000 has come alive. And what gives me the most joy is that it is no longer my idea. I don’t ‘own’ it; it is owned by a group of people who made the vision theirs. I am honored to stand with everyone who is a donor like myself. 

Is this the year, I finally get off sitting on the fence with God and fully commit? I really want it to be. The harvest is plenty but the labourers are few. The least I can do for God is to be one of the labourers and to help with getting more labourers.

2016 is going to be an amazing year. That is my reality. I wish the same for you as well. You just have to believe it, no matter what you see around you, and make that your reality. 


Stanley is John McFarlane… Die Hard! For someone like myself who’s too often living a happy-go-lucky life, it’s pretty impressive how hard Stanley goes at it. The man be grinding yo!

I believe.

Day 30: Lade

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114

I am usually not a very optimistic person, but I have hopes for this year. I start the year optimistic same as most other people, but a few weeks in, my optimism starts to wane and I’m tired and I believe that 2016 is the year the stars align. One month in the year is almost gone and I’ve still not lost that hope. January has been bumpy, but I’m focusing on God and all the awesome things I have planned.

I got the license to organise TEDxUnilag this year. I’m definitely very excited about that. I hope this turns out to be great.

I’m in my 3rd year in school (but 2nd year in Unilag). I ended Year 2 with a great CGPA. I hope I’m able to maintain it.

For the past few months, I was almost always broke. I hope I get a job soon and that I learn to manage my money better.

I generally don’t hold grudges, but there is this one I’m trying to let go of because I was hurt pretty bad. I read a post about forgiving all wrongs and I hope I can do that this year.

I haven’t gone to church in about two years. Probably more than that. I hope that changes this year. I’m church hopping for now. Until I find where feels good.

BookBarterNG finally kicked off last year. I hope that all the things I want to do around it happen.

I have other hopes and dreams that I won’t share (because: reasons), but I’m very hopeful about this year. Not just for me, but for a lot of people. Good things will happen this year. Happiness will be constant this year. Joy and good news will not depart this year.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3


 

Lade has grown in leaps and bounds since I e-met her 6yrs ago. It’s fascinating to see someone/something grow, flounder and flourish before your very eyes and that’s what I pray for Lade… That at the end of this year, she shall look back and be fascinated.

Dusk 29: Fifi

Last year when I wrote about my year, I emphasised over and over how my grandiose plan was taking the year as it comes. That was sort of a horrible plan, why didn’t anyone stop me?

The year had me yo-yoing in different directions. Trying to pick up my life as it scattered like pieces of eight into the wind. A tad dramatic, but true. It wasn’t about achieving things. Things were achieved but at the end of the year I came to the startling realization that I wasn’t someone I wanted to be. Ever felt that? Looking at yourself in the mirror and being enveloped by that ‘this is me but I don’t want to be me’ outer bodyish feeling?

I’m a hazard to myself. Don’t let me get me….

Insert 2016:

Opens blank page.

The whole mantra ‘New Year, New Me’ makes me laugh. I’m not planning on being a new me, I just don’t want to be the me that I was in 2015. Almost like an improved version of myself. I have no plans to throw 2015 Fifi away. With her lessons, regrets, thoughts, achievements, tears, times of understanding. No. In 2015, I took a walk away from God. I grew up a Jesus Baby but Jesus babies get disappointed. Jesus babies get hurt, Jesus babies get disillusioned and start to think they do not want to be Jesus babies anymore. 2015 was that year. 2016 already has God dragging me by the ear.

Oooooh child, things are gonna get easier…..

Last year, I spoke about dreams and aspirations when it came to creating content for TV. This year, I am going to have screen credits on 4 shows on TV. MNET/DSTV/whatchamacallit- I get it so mixed up, my contracts should be cancelled. Anyway, there are 2 TV series co-created by me. 2 series will have my name in writing / production in some capacity. And it is still January.

Flowing from my heart is Gratefulness….

This year, I really want to improve on myself. Making a deliberate decision to get better- as a person, become a decent human being. I’m a pretty awesome human being but there are higher heights and deeper depths.

Here are a couple of things that might help me be a better human.

Learn to direct properly. Shoot a short film. I have postponed this every year for many years because of fear. And the voices in my head that say I have nothing to say. It took 4 TV shows in one year to give me a sense of validation. Wait, I have something to say. I might not be a quack after all. So I will.

Learn a new language. Been looking to get Spanish classes a while now. This is the year.

Learn to ride the bike I’ve had parked in my room since last year. My parents never let me play outside growing up, so no bikes. Ever. What adult does not know how to ride a bike? Tell me I am not alone. Show of hands, please.

Get Fit. Eat healthier. That’s all I am going to say on this cringe worthy topic. Started fitness classes last year but I destroyed all the work I had done in a month. Started again this year. Yoga too. We’ll see.

Buy a Power Bike. Vroom! Vroom!  The voices in my head have fought me over this for too long. They say a girl should not want this. Sometimes, those voices are louder than who you really are. And I know who I really am adores the speed and the freedom being on a bike is going to give. So YES. I am getting a bike. So long, suckers!

Travel. Ghana, Kenya. Thailand. I read Sonia’s blog the day she said she had visited 30 countries before 30 and looked at my barren passport with a sigh. Mba. Before I end up in some man’s house and have to think twice before I travel. We move!

Talking about men- it is part of my itinerary to fall in love. Deliriously. Deliberately. Drool Worthy(ly). I giggle as I type this because I cannot imagine myself in any kind of love with anyone. But come on, dude. Bring it. My heart is ready. I think.

Ineffable Euphoria. Closer to my heart than ever- is my plan for a food bank and a soup kitchen that rotates in the city of Lagos. Since 2013, we have been visiting communities of people who need food stuff and providing goodie bags once a year. I would really love that to grow. Expand into something sustainable and worthwhile. This year, I plan to do something about that. Write some fine barra letters to some FCMGs and see if they would like to participate in the project. It would be great to have stores where people could get food stuff for twenty naira or something. I need to think that through. Ask me again next year. 

That’s the year. Looking at what I have written down makes it feel real and achievable. Write the vision, make it plain. It will find its way to you again. I know I ramble a bit. If you got to the end of this, here’s a thank you and a sorry. 

My status is changing, there’s no more decline. I’m on my way to better days…

Day 29: Eden

DELIBERATE 2016!

When I signed up for this, I had it all written down in my mind. I just needed time to take a pen and scribble it down, but things changed. In fact a lot of things have changed since I signed up; in the midst of trying to decide whether to go ahead  and write not I came on here to read olatoxic’s call about 30 days of hope and these sentences jumped at me…

#30DaysOfHope presents the opportunity… to document all that they want from the new year, that they may reflect upon it as they carry on. They grab the opportunity to speak/write what they desire into being. This is for people who realize the power of the spoken/written word and are willing to unleash it in their favour.

Write down your hopes and dreams, your aspirations and plans, ambitions and projections. Write your fears and challenges, your doubts and concerns, stumbling blocks and hurdles. Write the methods you will use to vanquish them, the paths you will take around them, the amount of time it may take. Write it all down. Write a hundred words. Or a thousand. Or in between. Write elaborately, or haphazardly. Write a story, or an article, or a letter to yourself. Write for the first time or the millionth. Write because you choose to. Write because you must.
Write because 2016 is yours for the taking.

And then when you’re done writing, speak it. Read it out loud. Share it with a friend. Read it to your family. Preach it to your walls. Whisper it to yourself. Speak your hopes and dreams and aspirations and plans and ambitions and projections into reality.
Then take action.

So here are my cluttered hopes, dreams, aspirations… in about 50 words.

God. Prayer addict. Bible lover!

Love! Bae! Wedding Bells!

Travels, hotel rooms, airports, lay overs, tired bones …because dream job.

Good financial year, investments…money cometh!

Healthy eating, Gym runs, new wardrobe … Size 12 loading 

Writing, writing, writing. Deadlines. Articles.

Registrations. Seminars. Workshops.

I am excited. I am also afraid. Here’s to a deliberate 2016!


It’s almost funny how half of this post ended up being words written by me 😄😄😄

If there’s one thing I love about this project, it’s how diverse the writing styles come. And if there’s one thing I love about Eden’s entry, it’s how very specific and deliberate it is about what she hopes to achieve. And to those, I say “Amen”.