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What a year we have ahead of us. New years are exciting; they offer new hope and new opportunities.
Yet, there have been some ominous rumblings from people who believe in the Mayan prediction that the world will end in 2012.
Whichever way you look at it, I believe there will be endings and beginnings in 2012; there will be things that will influence your life, either external or internal via your personal thoughts and resolve (resolutions).
My own positive thoughts give me hope. In contrast, external voices tend to be mostly negative and bent on destroying optimism and hope. That is why I prefer to have new year resolutions – they give me hope.
Humans are creatures of hope.
A friend of mine who is a life coach, Graham Le Sar, wrote a book on how to make resolutions – all types of resolutions – work.
In my experience, dreams are fulfilled only when started with a strong resolve and with an end goal in mind. Resolutions have served me well whenever I have actively pursued them. Without resolutions I think I would stop dreaming and achieving, perhaps even stop living, in the full sense of the word.
The secret is planning and acting in ways that make resolutions materialise.
Even if our resolutions are born from fear and dissatisfaction there is much to say about the need for “good discontentment” that pushes us into making changes.
It is said that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect different results. This implies that we will have to do things differently to get different, and better, results.
Let’s be different in a year of predicted apocalyptic damnation. As much as we have created health consciousness, let us this year start cultivating a wealth consciousness.
Let’s make it sustainable and rewarding. However, let’s not be stupid. Let’s acknowledge the pitfalls, the different risks, and the ways of overcoming them and become healthy, wealthy and wise.
We will start with baby steps and end up going forward in leaps and bounds – not by December 2012 – but sustainably over the next five, 10, 20 and 30 years.
Let’s start with wealth consciousness. To assist our readers I will be writing several guides during the year that will give more in-depth information on the various subjects we will be discussing in this column.
If you aren’t able to attend or afford the financial workshops I offer, you will be able to use these guides in the same simple style as this column.
Together you and I will investigate different investment opportunities in property (local and offshore), in shares, stocks, bonds, money markets, unit trusts, hard assets, business investment and start-ups (to generate more income) and so on.
I will also investigate areas where we can save money on various products and services. I have, for instance, just started two projects on circumventing electricity as my only source of power so I can save a fortune.
I will keep you up to date, but let me whet your appetite by telling you that the first project has already reduced my electricity usage for the month to only R180.
2012 can be an extraordinary year. I believe it will go on to become the year of “the great turnaround”; the year that we start cultivating our wealth in earnest.
Along the way we will inevitably have to revisit the basics, such as controlling personal budgets and debt and anything else you deem relevant.
Thank you for your e-mails and calls and please keep them coming, as they help me to choose the topics in our journey towards a happy, healthy, wealthy and wise 2012.
l Deon Hattingh is a certified financial planner and trainer on financial literacy, budget and debt management, and wealth creation. For more information, visit www.makingSENSE, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.