Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Leap for Success this Leap Year—2012

Yes, 2012 is a Leap Year when February will finally have 29 days again.  This is particularly special for those born on that day—now they can celebrate their birth on their actual birthday.  Why not make this year special for you, too?  How?  Well, you can start by changing your routine, by doing things differently or doing different things—maybe the things you’ve been putting off for years, even decades.

You may have set New Year resolutions in the past only to have them fizzle out by mid-January.  So this year, start earlier and get a jump on everyone else.  What’s holding you back?  Is it your self-esteem?  Here’s a fun, productive way to raise your self-esteem, and not a bad way to end 2011.  Make a list of your top 25 accomplishments going all the way back to school if you want. Do it chronologically for a nice trip down memory lane.  I first did this in 2006 and then expanded my list to 50, adding in quite a few that I had overlooked in my previous list.

As you complete your own list, you’ll already be thinking about what you can do for 2012!  Here are six ways to make your Leap Year special.  In fact, these six things alone will not only have a profound effect on your 2012, but also your life!

1)      The books you read. What books have you been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to?  What books will help you in your career?  What books will get you thinking in a new, better way. What books will help you out of a rut?  What books will help you with your finances?  What are the books that others have been strongly recommending?  Set a goal to read a half hour or an hour a day, a book a month.

2) The places you visit. The best way to get out of rut is to go someplace new, even if it's not that far away. Get in your car or hop a bus or take a short flight.  Can even be a day trip, or a weekend get away.  Three day holidays are ideal.  Check your calendar and plan ahead.  Set a goal to visit one new place a month or one new country a year.  Or take a couple of weeks (or a couple of months) for some serious traveling, though that will take more planning and more money.  But if you plan ahead and economize, there are some good deals out there.

3)     The people you meet.  Are you always hanging around the same people, having the same conversations?  Then meet some new people!  How?  Attend a workshop or a seminar, or go to a conference and meet people who may share your same interests. Or take up a new hobby, like photography or flying or scuba diving, or enroll in a course and study a new language or anything else that interests you.

4)      The thoughts you think. Pick up some personal development CD’s and listen to them in your car as you drive back and forth to work.  How many hours are wasted stuck in traffic?  Not any longer!  Pretty soon you’ve be thinking about yourself in a whole new way.  You’ll start to see opportunities that have been there all along.  Why spend the rest of your life complaining about how bad things are?  How is that helping you or your spouse and family?  Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in your life (and the world around you), start appreciating all that is right and start seeing the possibilities! 

5)      The decisions you make. Get in the habit of making decisions, even small decisions.  If you’re forever putting off decisions, well that is your decision—to put them off!  This year, see how many decisions you can make in one week.  Can you make six decisions each daythree in the morning, three in the afternoon? How about six impossible things before breakfast? Deciding on one impossible thing, after really thinking about it, may make that impossible thing, very possible.  Maybe not right away, but you’re stepping in the right direction the moment you start to make some decisions with your life.

6)      The actions you take. We all talk about what we want to do, but do we actually take those steps to do them?   Or are we resigned to the fact that our goals are merely pipe dreams?   Only one way to find out!  Decide on a new course of action for 2012, make a plan how you can accomplish it, then get started while the thought it still there.  Today, do the very first thing that needs to be done.  Often it’s a click away.  Do a little research and find what you’re looking for.  If you need to make a phone call, pick up the phone. Then follow your plan through to the end. If you fail, well at least you tried.  Now you can try it again in a new way and make better decisions!  Put your whole heart into it!

So end 2011 by making a commitment to yourself that 2012 will be like no other year.  This is the year that it will all begin for you.  Already you’re making a list of books you want to read; the ways you can meet new people; the self-development tapes you want to check out (to change the way you always think); the decisions that you've holding off on (aren’t you tired of procrastinating?); and the action steps you plan to take, so you too can leap forward for success in 2012.

In fact, why wait every four years?  Why not try this every year! Or try right now!
          —Borneo Expat Writer

*Get a jump on your New Year Resolutions

Here are links to some of my author-to-author interviews of first novelists:

Ivy Ngeow author of Cry of the Flying Rhino, winner of the 2016 Proverse Prize.

Golda Mowe author of Iban Dream and Iban Journey.

Preeta Samarasan author of Evening is the Whole Day

Chuah Guat Eng,  author of Echoes of Silence and Days of Change. 


Beheaded on Road to Nationhood: Sarawak Reclaimed—Part I 


Annie R. Teo said...

This a "pleasure of the moment" article.
P.S: hence - wink - I have enroled for your workshop!

Borneo Expat Writer said...

Thanks Annie! Will see you soon at the workshop!

Raenell Dawn said...

Hello from Her Royal Leapness ;0) I have been spreading Leap Year Day Awareness since 1988, cofounded The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies since 1997, and I've been a Leap Day baby since Leap Day 1960. I enjoyed your article. Thanks for recognizing the most important day on the calendar. It's not just our birth day, it's everyone's extra day!

I Leap, therefore I am,
Raenell Dawn

Borneo Expat Writer said...

Thanks! No doubt you're magnet to other Leap Year babies. That's cool you're honoring them, Your Royal Leapness. All the best. This is your year. And it's our year to leap forward, if we dare...