Wednesday, 07 November 2018 06:05

Whose agenda have you been running with?

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Needless to say, the month of November invokes a myriad of emotions associated with the beckoning of the eleventh hour. For those who have met and surpassed their annual targets, plans are on the cards for a relaxed annual year end retreat. For others who are still frantically trying to play catch up with time, the panic button has just been activated. As the New Year beckons, this is the time to truly reflect on why you are spending your time doing the things you are doing. Who is directing the actions you take on a daily basis? Sometimes it is the outside forces that are calling the shots for you. Are you taking the actions that someone else wants you to take? Are they congruent with your goals? Are you climbing down the blind alley of someone else’s agenda?

Your dream or someone else’s?
Goal-setting and resolutions time is upon us. You might be loaded down with someone else's dreams for you. It's more common than we think - we unconsciously take on other people's wishes for us. It can be difficult to tell the difference between something we want for ourselves and something a cherished friend or relative wants for us. We care about others and know that they care about us. Caring isn't the problem. It's adopting their aspirations for us without examining whether we actually want them. Unless they're obviously nagging, it can be hard to tell where your dreams stop and someone else's start.

What matters most to you?
Many times when we are unsuccessful in achieving our goals, we lament that there is not enough time to get done what we want to get done. If we are honest with ourselves, we may find we waste a lot of time doing mind-numbing or mindless tasks. The bottom line? There are many things in both the public domain and in our personal lives that can serve to distract us. Instead of keeping our eye on the prize – our priorities – we end up wasting time watching and concerning ourselves with matters that take us away from living our lives according to what matters most. Personal investments in unfulfilling relationships, constant texting, celebrity gossip, … the list of potential time wasters is endless. What are the things that define your wasted time index? Which ones can you begin to avoid as you prepare for a more productive year?

Managing versus owning your time
Time is the raw material of getting anything worthwhile done. Time is precious and valuable. More valuable than money. Time is the only element in the world that is irretrievable when it’s lost. Lose money and you can make more. Lose a job and you can find another. But lose time and it’s gone forever. There are 168 hours every week. And you have an average of 2,400 minutes to yourself each week. That is a monumental amount of time. Where could it possibly go? Or better still, where are you spending all those hours? There are four real ways to spend your time: thought, conversation, actions and distractions. Choose wisely! You alone can take ownership of your time and decide how much time to spend on your thoughts, conversations, actions and even purposeful distractions that will lead to your success. “You can’t let other people set your agenda in life” says Warren Buffett.

Do you know what you want?
All the evidence shows that people who know what they want are more likely to get what they want. After all, if you don’t know what you want, you will end up working for someone who does. Without your own agenda you will spend the best part of your youth and energy delivering someone else’s agenda. What also seems true is people who do manage to know what they want possess a kind of ‘inner compass’ allowing them to make decisions and change their circumstances to move nearer to it.
Are your goals consistent with your values? 
Maybe you don’t believe in doing what you said you wanted to do. What is the reason for this? Is it something you want? How do you want to feel when you achieve your goal? Are you prepared to tell anybody and everybody about your goals? Why not? Aren’t you proud of what you are going for in your life? Are you going after what you want or are you working someone else’s agenda?

There are ten questions that we must answer about our goals, in this instalment we will share the top three:
1. Are Your Goals Written Down? – Writing your goals down is powerful. It makes them real. It clarifies them, and helps bring definition and accountability to them.
2. Are They Your goals? – Before you pursue them, make sure that your goals are truly your own. Or are they goals that have been put upon you by expectations of your family, job, or society?
3. Do They Have a Deadline? – Goals without deadlines are like a race without an end. You need a finish line to define your goal and when you will accomplish it by. 
Owning your time is not just about having more free time; it’s about knowing what you want and using the time you’re given productively to get there. Greg McKeown says that “Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” 

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Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi

Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi is an Organisational and Personal Development Consultant, a Life Coach, Author, and Strategist. Her latest book, “The Connection Factor: Unlocking your Individual potential through your Connections,” provides some relational nuggets to individuals who seek to establish meaningful, relevant and fulfilling relationships that can unlock their potential.   Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to achieve your goals. E-mail: cynthia@wholenessinc.com. LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda Hakutangwi.  Mobile: 263 717 013 206

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