Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Achieve your goals this year 2017

Published:Sunday | January 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMTikoya Joseph
Melanie Schwapp
Marlon Campbell
Yaneek Page

Achieve your goals this year

The curtains have closed on 2016. Some scenes were joyful and bright while others were not so good.

Experience teaches wisdom, and with that in mind, we can begin working on a brand new script for 2017. In developing the plot, the aim is to work towards particular goals and the main character will seek to be better a person as it relates to the different aspects of life - finances, relationships and overall well-being.




Do resolutions really work? Yes! According to financial adviser, Marlon Campbell. "However, it comes down to the discipline and planning." Financial stability is a big goal for most individuals. There are some who want to be rich and others just want to be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. How do you ensure that you make the right financial decisions when there are voices in your head that constantly tell you, 'you deserve this!' or 'treat yourself'? Campbell offered pointers on how to achieve a better financial year in 2017.

1) First, you have to know what your situation is. December is a good time to review your financial situation. Get a clear picture of assets, liabilities and expenses. From there, identity your good and bad habits when it comes to spending and saving.

2) Do a proper and detailed budget and stick to it

3) Avoid debt as much as possible! Too many of us spend what we don't have. Credit cards are a useful tool, but as grandma would say, 'wah sweet yu can sour yu'. Be very careful with your credit card use. Remember that it is a loan.

4) Find ways to boost income. Look into monetising hobbies if possible.




They say money does not buy happiness. How about good companionship, a dependable and strong support system, and good sex? Relationships play an important role in the balancing act of life. Men and women alike find solace in knowing that there is someone who will listen to their troubles after a stressful day at work/school; someone who will hug and kiss them and take all the troubles away.

Melanie Schwapp, author and mother of three said that she does believe in resolutions but does not believe in making them once per year. "At my age, I've come to realise that life is not a rigid thing, but a fluid experience that brings so many changes as we grow throughout the year. I've learnt to roll with the punches."

Being married for 25 years, Schwapp admitted: "Marriage is hard. But my resolution has always been to stay 'in like' with my husband. When you really like someone, you don't ever want to lose that person, and you crave time with them. That's what my husband and I try to do each year in making an effort to spend a lot of leisure time with each other, whether playing 'Words', enjoying a bottle of wine, or taking a trip. In essence, my resolution each year is to keep my husband as my best friend."

My best advice to couples is just what I've said above about my resolution to 'like' each other. Go out of your way to spend time together, to share secrets and laugh together as you did when you were courting. I'm in no way suggesting that you should give up your other friends and be totally consumed by your partner, because I really do believe that in order to appreciate a relationship with someone else, you must be able to explore your own interests. I think the secret really is that as you grow, you make the effort to grow inclusive of your partner rather than exclusively.




Yaneek Page, certified entrepreneurship trainer, is also a believer in resolutions.

"Last year, I made just one resolution - to start doing yoga. I met with an instructor in late December 2015. We started the first week of January 2016, and I committed to a schedule of three yoga sessions each week and did it for the entire year. It's now a lifestyle."

Mother of the six-year-old television series, The Innovators, Page believes that all things are possible. "Visualise the bold dreams you have for yourself over the next five-10 years at least - personally, professionally and financially. With your bold dreams in mind, write out a clear and detailed vision for your personal and professional life. Not only will you express where you want to go, the act of writing it down is the first step in creating the road map to get there."

Through her show, she has helped Jamaicans realise their entrepreneurial dreams, in turn, providing a better life for themselves and their families. Page is very passionate about helping others and so she is always willing to give advice to persons interested in starting a business.

Here are her pointers:

1. Don't start a business because you're in financial need. Start a business when you've identified a viable opportunity. One of the best investments you could make even before starting the business is building your capacity to manage and lead the business, so invest in training, coaching, or find a great mentor.

2. If you want to grow your business, I suggest you do a comprehensive strategic planning exercise where you review your performance, revamp your business model, if needed, set a clear vision with medium- to long-term goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.

Have a productive and wonderful 2017!