Welcome to the New Year! The year that is past has been one of mixed fortunes. On the personal front, many people did not meet the standards they set for themselves at the beginning of 2016 probably because resources are scarce or they lost interest in the middle of the year. So, instead of making new resolutions for 2017, why not take a few pointers to help you have a more fulfilled life?

Getting that promotion
You have probably been eyeing that elusive promotion for months. Remember, you are not the only one eyeing it.

Ethan Musolini, a motivational speaker and success coach, says even when you were passed over for that promotion in 2016, continue to do more of what you have been doing.

“Keep a positive attitude and do not get frustrated because your negative behaviour will give your bosses more ammunition not to promote you.

Do not start complaining and do not throw in the towel. If the company cannot see your value now, someone else will see it in the future and promote you or recommend you for another job in a better company.”
Ask why you were passed over for promotion and when you get honest feedback, do not hold grudges.

Instead, work on improving your position.
People also miss promotion because they do not prepare for the interviews. Do not be sloppy just because you know the interviewers.

“They do not care that you have a track record of dedicated service,” Musolini advises, adding, “Your performance will be judged on that day together with the other outsiders who have applied for the job. The better person will get it.

It is a competitive world and people do not get things because they deserve them but because they are better than the rest.”

Another way to get promoted is to be passive-aggressive about your achievements. Blow your trumpet without coming off as being boastful. You can do this by highlighting your work but at the same time, appreciating your team members.

“I always encourage people to learn public speaking so that when you get the opportunity to speak you can influence many people and sell your ideas.

Those who get promoted are not necessarily the brightest; it is just because they can communicate effectively. There are people who are technically proficient but cannot communicate their ideas or sell them.”

Since you are aiming for a leadership or managerial position, it would help to take some short courses in leadership skills.

Choose a healthy lifestyle
The trick is to keep active in a way that keeps away sickness and the feeling of general laziness. Wilbroad Makumbi, a physiotherapist, advises that having a healthy lifestyle has a lot to do with habits that become a part of your lifestyle.

“To be healthy one should engage in purposeful physical activity for half an hour at least four to five times a week.

You cannot rationalise that because you have been doing housework all day that constitutes physical activity. Making it purposeful means you take time off a day to actually do they physical exercises.”

You do not have to go through stressful exercise regimes. If you want to keep it easy, walk at least five times a week for at least three miles. Eat the right foods – have more fruits and vegetables in your diet; drink more water and sleep well every night. Practice safe sex and do not drink excessively, do not smoke or take recreating drugs.
Physical activities and having a proper diet are not only for people who are plump or overweight.

“Of course if you are big you have more needs for physical activity but everyone needs a good level of exercises,” Makumbi advises, continuing, “Physical activity is not just about losing weight but for aerobic fitness of the heart and lungs. You become more alert, your emotions are stable and your temperament is okay.”

Bond with your children
Family is important. When all else fails, they are the ones who will have your back. They can only love you if you take the initiative to cherish them, though.

“Spend time with your children, read with them, play with them, and listen to them,” John Apenya, a father of six says, adding, “I always give my children Sunday. On that day, nothing can take me out of my home. That is my time to bond with my children.”

Another way of bonding is to volunteer to charitable activities as a family. There are so many volunteering options nowadays carried out by churches and organisations. It is never too early to teach your children that about compassion for the downtrodden.

Growing your business
You definitely need more clients to grow your business. Study the market and offer products and services that people actually want to buy. It does not make sense to offer a continental breakfast in your small restaurant when your customers prefer katogo.

Miriam Kyasiimire, CEO, Kagera Safaris Ltd, advises that it is important for one to stick to their vision. “Why did you start the business?

That question will help you to keep reinvesting your profits back into your business to make it grow.”
A business person should never stop learning about the things of importance in their field of operation.

Also, focus on the customer in a creative way. Sometimes, the only reason a customer frequents your small shop is because you offer free packaging for their purchases.
“Another way to grow your business is to network with different people because they can lead you to others who will make your business grow,” Kyasiimire advises.

Many small businesses overlook the importance of going into partnerships with businesses which are bigger than them. However, partnerships create visibility for your business. Imagine the free advertisement you would get if, together with your local council, you sponsor the local township football tournament. People will hear your business name and be curious to find you.

Make your relationship work
Whether you are married or not, the status of your relationship will reflect in everything you do. This should be the year in which you give more to the relationship.

If you are married, life is not only about the children; spend time doing enjoyable things together. You can play games, volunteer together or take walks together.
Claire Nassimbwa, who has been married for 10 years, says showing appreciation to your spouse strengthens your relationship. “Make it an everyday occurrence to show and tell your partner that you are blessed to have them in your life, even if you have been together for many years.

Give them gifts or take them out on surprise retreats. These do not have to be expensive; what matters is the thought behind the surprise.”

Another way you can bond is by talking to and listening to each other. “The more you communicate, the more closer you become,” Josephat Asiimwe, a relationship counsellor says, adding, “If there are problems, seek the advice of a counsellor.” Be honest about your feelings and choose your battles carefully.

Much as communication is important, your emotional safety in a relationship should not be compromised. “If the relationship is just beginning, be a bit more reserved about your feelings until you are sure it is the right relationship” Asiimwe advises.

Try to stop comparing yourself to other people. It does not matter that they have everything while you have to struggle to get anything.

Just find your own style and be happy no matter the situation. Forgive yourself and others who have wronged you. Mistakes offer us opportunities to grow; take those opportunities.

Have some time
Work without play makes you dull. You need time to get your karma back in order or just to get to know yourself again.

Schedule sometime alone by taking yourself out to a restaurant or grab a movie ticket alone. If you enjoy nature, on weekdays, the beaches are usually free of the maddening crowds. If you are into books, buy some bestsellers that you can spend the weekend with.

Netting those elusive goals
It is about time you made your life worth something by setting a goal and actually achieving it. Miriam Kyasiimire, CEO, Kagera Safaris Kyasiimire advises that people it is better to have a clear vision. “Goals keep on changing and sometimes they can be small.

But as long as the vision is there, the shifting goals are always in line with it. Be honest with yourself and examine why you did not achieve what you set out to do in 2016, and then, outline what you can do about that goal in 2017.”

Be realistic; keep your goals small even though sometimes we are led to misbelieve that it is a good thing to dream big. For accountability, tell a few close friends about your goal. This will push you to achieve the goal.

Asiimwe, though, offers a word of caution about me-time. “One or two hours alone are good for your soul. Do not stretch it longer than that because you need to be around people and connect to them.”

Having fulfilling relationships
Friendship is a two way lane; the more you show empathy for a person, the more they will want to be there for you.

Spend time together and do not only talk about yourself; show some interest in the life of your friend. Initiate calls and WhatsApp messages, and when your friend confides in you, let the secret remain with you.
Josephat Asiimwe, a relationship counsellor, advises, “Not everyone should be your friend. Look out for friends who have developmental ideas in whatever sector. That is the only way you can make positive friendships.”

It might be tough, but when a friend in need calls, respond positively.