By all accounts, 2009 is shaping up to be a very bad year. The global financial crisis that has wiped out billions of dollars and seen tens of thousands of jobs lost continues to stalk us from last year into 2009.
But don’t let that get us down. Here are ten things you can do for a better 2009:
1. Pick up a new skill. It’s a good time to learn something useful that will add value to your overall skill set. How about learning a new language? If nothing else, learn accounting to help keep your books in order. Most of us – including entrepreneurs! – fail when it comes to basic book-keeping.
2. Pay it forward. Once a day, do something good for someone without expecting anything in return. Help an old lady cross the road. Recommend a trusted service provider or vendor to a business contact. And you don’t even need to spend any money – a smile does wonders to light up someone else’s day. Karma aside, the feel-good factor is an adrenaline rush.
3. Finish what you’ve started. Focus on completing something that you’ve conveniently left aside for some time now. It could be that you haven’t updated your website for a while. Or perhaps it’s the long overdue maintenance works for your home. Finish it!
4. Network. Join business and social networking events to meet more people. Extend your circle of friends, business contacts and acquaintances. You’ll never know when you may need them.
5. Be more knowledgeable. Read more books. Subscribe to a good current affairs magazine. Personally, I subscribe to Monocle and found that my world view has changed since the day I picked my first copy up. Knowledge is power.
6. Start a side project. Do something totally different on the side that will give you another perspective in life. Start a blogshop. Support a cause. Found a social initiative to save the last remaining mangrove swamp in your hometown from reclaimation. My friend Kelvin Quee may be the co-founder of local startup JamiQ, but he also runs Interesthink and that makes him a lot more complete than most people I know.
7. Forgive one person who’ve wronged you in 2008. Seriously, this sounds like mumbo-jumbo but forgiving someone for an injustice done to you does really help you psychologically. Drop that weight off your shoulder and concentrate on the real issues in life.
8. Give up one vice. Smoking, drinking, whoring, gambling, porn, whatever. The amount of time and money you save can be channelled to something more positive.
9. Be more involved in your community. Be a volunteer in your neighbourhood. Join the volunteer corps, or even helping out at the soup kitchen. There’s never a better time to give back to society. I’m considering joining my neighbourhood watch to look out for crime around my district.
10. Maintain a positive outlook in life. Carry yourself with confidence and a positive vibe. People who are positive naturally attracts others to them. Nobody likes a dour person with a face that can sour milk.
Granted, doing any or all of the above will not help you single-handedly rebuild the world’s financial systems. But at least you can look back and feel some satisfaction that you’ve made a difference to YOUR life at the end of 2009.
Happy New Year!