Just Like That…

(c) BBC News, 2007

It tickles me how every year, especially in the last few, as I begin to get text messages saying “Happy New Year, the new year is here” even before the clocks in Nigeria get any close to 12 midnight of the 31st of December. Yesterday, one of such messages from a location 3 hours ahead of Nigerian time (GMT + 1) said, “… this is my first text message in the year 2007, I can’t believe that 2006 is gone — just like that…” Each nation, region and time zone arrived the new year over a series of moments. 2006 is gone, just like that. But was it a well-spent year for me? You?

A few days (365, to be precise) ago, we were welcoming the year 2006. To a friend, “it was a very long year that had a fast first month and very slow days until mid-December”. Thrills, disappointments, near misses, close-to-achieving-it experiences, celebration-worthy achievements… and of course, the list goes on. Just like that, the young year became old, died and has now been archived in the history of all mankind (well, except for the few countries that have 2 more hours before the new year 🙂

For me, 2006 was a radical year. It was radical in terms of my involvements in processes that I hold very dear to my heart — all towards the improvement of both myself and those around me. But the usual question people ask is, “what’s up with the new year?” That is a pregnant question… which I have had the chance to answer over the past few days. Every year, I spend the last 2 weeks thinking over my past year and how it fits into the overall plan for my life and then spend the last week planning the next year — with a very strong focus on correcting the failures of the outgoing year, and also ensuring that the plans for the new year fit into an overall long-term goal.

For 2007, I had my 2006-2015 plan to consult, and it was interesting to note the few things that will characterise the year for me. Practical application of ICTs in socio-economic development, proof-bearing youth-led social entrepreneurship, sustained participation in nation-building, clear leadership in regional development and an informed role in global opportunities are the keay words that mark my year, 2007. How about yours? The real question to ask is, “what would I wish to see on my done list by December 31, 2007?” The beauty of planning is that when the year ends, just like that (to many), you would be able to sit back and count your gains — and of course, plan to make up for your losses.

Where are you headed in life? What can you do with this new gift of 365 days that can help you move your life in the direction of your dreams? Family, career, academics, name it… you now have the rare opportunity of 365 days (fast becoming 364) never lived by anyone else, during which you can recreate the image you see when you look into the mirror, and that men percieve when they hear your name. 2007 is my own year of Deliberate Progress and in terms of my involvements, I have a few surprises (pleasant ones) up my sleeve and will of course share with you through this platform.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your pen and paper (or laptop), and write what the next 364.5 days can add to your life. At the end of the year, it will be easier for you to know if you belong to the class of those who will — in the next few years — tell stories of how they are related to very successful people; or if you will be the one whose stories will be on many lips — not for vanity, but for the impact of your life on theirs. Hapy New Year, and please add the blogs of my friend Adeolu Akinyemi (www.deoluakinyemi.com) and mentor, Prof. Pat Utomi (www.utominotes.com) to your must-read before the end of the day.

Welcome to 2007… happy new year! And I trust that when it will be said of 2007 that it has gone “just like that,” you will have reasons to smile when remembering the laid out plans that have been met with action. To some, you will be called lucky but you can bet that what they call luck is a reflection of the interplay between your preparation (from the first day of the year) and the opportunities that will show up (all through the year).

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