Congratulations! You’ve made it to December! 2020 has been tough, but you’re still here. That’s in itself is a feat, considering how turbulent the year has been.
Some time ago, I came across the story of a little boy who went into a drug store. Reaching for a soda carton, he pulled it over to the telephone booth. He climbed the carton to dial a number. After some seconds, a lady picked up. Then the boy asked, ”Hello ma’am, can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?” The woman said, “No I already have someone who cuts my lawn.” The little boy pushed further and said, “I will cut your lawn for half the price you are currently paying.” The lady responded, “I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.” Again the boy persisted saying “I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk and….” The woman cuts in, “No, thank you”. The call ended and the little boy smiled as he replaced the phone receiver. The shop owner who observed the boy’s persistence all through the conversation and surprised to see his smile afterwards walked up to him and said: “Son, I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.” To his amazement, the boy said: “No thanks, I don’t need a job.” He continued “I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!”
The boy called in to get a verbal appraisal for his job. That right there is Self-Audit.
The term “audit” usually refers to the examination of the financial report of an organisation and the evaluation of its departments – by someone (or an audit firm) independent of that organisation with the aim to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Most organizations carry out this exercise at the end of a year. As we speak, many businesses are preparing for this exercise and it’s often a bittersweet experience for some.
The question is: If organizations need to audit themselves, why should individuals like you and I not also audit our lives to improve our personal effectiveness? You know, your life is your first business, so it’s good to borrow this practice from the corporate world and evaluate key areas of your life to honestly ascertain how you fared this year. While you are at it, don’t be too hard on yourself. You have done well to have made it this far, what is important now is getting the necessary lessons to prepare for a better year in 2021. Here are 3 areas I encourage you to audit.
- Audit Your Performance
Remember the story of the little boy, he wanted to know if his employer was pleased with his performance. You need not be that dramatic, you can keep it simple and objective. There’s also no need to be self-condemning. Just ask yourself these few questions and answer honestly; How much effort and energy did I put into this year? How well did I do with the goals I set for myself? Questions like these will help you evaluate your performance, identify areas for improvement and make you perform better next year.
- Audit Your Relationships
I cannot overemphasize the importance of building and maintaining the right relationships. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” To a large extent, your future can be predicted by looking at the quality of people you surround yourself with. So take a look at your relations; which toxic associations should you end? Which one adds value to you and needs to be strengthened? As you commit to making progress in life, you must understand that mutually beneficial relationships ultimately lead to living a truly value-adding life. So, audit your relationships.
- Audit Your Learnings
It goes without saying that 2020 has taught us all a lot of lessons. One fact that was reinforced for me this year is that life is in phases and every phase will definitely outlive its time. No matter our terrible a season is, it will surely “come to pass.” So what did 2020 teach you? What would you consider a learning curve this year? Also, what skills did you acquire this year? It doesn’t have to be a grand professional expertise; it could even be cooking, driving, swimming or playing a musical instrument. Whatever it is, be sure to take these lessons to heart, using them to fuel your resolve for a better year in 2021.
As we wrap up this year, it will be very helpful to get materials and develop habits that will assist you in preparing for the year ahead.
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live. MAKE IT COUNT!