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Twenty-Twenty-Want to Succeed!

Success. I’ve always found it to be quite an interesting concept – its true meaning morphing constantly as time goes on. When I was young, I associated ‘success’ with how much fame and money I could amass with my little time on this Earth and, although those things still sound quite appealing, now more than ever with debit orders seeming to wait around every corner, in maturing (however slight that may be) I’ve come to realise it’s much more complicated than that. As unique as success’ defining characteristics are to each and every one of us, there is one ‘success’ quality we all share – WE ALL WANT TO ACHIEVE IT!

Be it old, young, rich or poor, I have yet to encounter an individual not wanting to make a success of their life– whatever that may mean. I’m sure that, along with the excitement that comes with every new year, 2020 held the promise of a multitude of varying hopes and dreams for many. It truly seemed like a year for success. It marked the start of a new year, new decade, and, in plugging the Math brain, the numerical aesthetic of it all just appealed to it really being ‘something special’. Hindsight affords us the opportunity to see just how special it truly was, unfortunately not holding the positive expectations we had all placed on it, instead allowing us to get a little too familiar with the number of steps it takes us to travel from our beds to our fridges. But, a new year always brings with it a chance for change, reflection, realignment and growth. With us well into the first month of 2021 (scary I know), today remains the best day to decide to be better tomorrow.

I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions, clearly indicated by the same kgs I’ve been trying to lose annually for the past 5 years, all in striving to secure that ever-elusive December Summer body. I seem to find postponing my weight loss efforts just as easy as it was to make those resolutions in the first place. With the unsurprising hopes of wanting to slim down come December 2021, this has led to me evaluating where these resolutions, once inciting pure motivation and drive, seem to lose their shine and shimmer barely 2 months into the year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we all agree that there are years we experience personal and professional growth and that countless amazing memories are gained between the onset and close of any given year. My mission, I guess then, is to, within the optimistic minutes it hopefully takes you to read this, effectively relay my findings on how to make achieving these goals, often encountered by twisted chance, not only possible but purposed.

In chatting with a close friend of mine recently, I discovered she had achieved something I myself struggled to – and I don’t mean completing my degree (that’s another post all on its own). While champagne spilled and celebrations occurred across Cape Town, my friend found a quiet space in the solace of sobriety to put her 2020 life’s vision to paper. She also shared with me how successful her pursuits were, a few of the reasons I will discuss below, and inspired me to apply the same this year. As different hats work for different cats – an original saying I hope gets quoted on the Tiger King sequel one day, the same goes for methods of aspiration and goal setting – one might work for one that may not work for the other. These are the few I personally find to be the most effective and hope it aids in your 2021 success journey.

This is one method I’ve personally adopted this year. The idea is to break your life up into 6 parts that constitute a well-balanced life. Those six aspects are the Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, Work/Financial, Spiritual (

I find this is a bit of an adjustment to the standard resolution in the sense that it is a little more focused. Instead of just a general introspection and identifying repair projects, breaking our lives up into these facets allows us to evaluate each area individually, especially forcing us to look at those areas that are often overlooked. From there it is important to set goals and benchmarks that are incredibly specific and, more importantly, REALISTIC. There is no point in setting these grandiose goals whose existence serves no purpose other than to overwhelm. These goals are not set to impress the other but, instead, drive you to reaching your fullest potential. I decided on setting 2/3 goals per area. Equally as important is ensuring that these targets are placed in an area you are able to engage with them often. This ensures that every decision you make or action you take is aligned or in the pursuit of one of these goals – they should serve as the ultimate reference. At the end of each month you are then able to refer back and determine whether any area has not received the desired attention and a focus can be placed on it moving forward (possibly even setting mini goals for the month ahead). It is important to remember that:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”
~ Lao Tzu

As I mentioned above, ensuring your goals can be found somewhere you’re likely to engage with it constantly is important. This is because we fail to realise the true power of a visual driver. The old saying ‘we become what we eat’ holds true not only in reference to what foods we eat, but in what we choose to consume daily i.e. what we decide to view on social media, who we decide to listen to and what we decide to read or watch.

This is why I feel a vision board can be a powerful tool in manifesting the lives and success we all aspire to. Manifesting, not in the sense of wishful thinking and hoping that thing appear out of thin air, but instead being constantly reminded of what we want, so much so that every thought, decision and action automatically aligns to achieving those goals. Again, this need not be materialistic but you can populate your board with words, phrases and themes you feel best describes the life and situation you would like for yourself. Having your vision board up in a space you are always able to see it also keeps you driven and focused. Sites like can serve as a great tool or just using resources like to source images.

By now I’m sure we have all encountered some source encouraging us to make use of affirmations and/or mantras, whether that be in one of our productive Life Orientation lessons, a Facebook post from that ex-colleague or a TikTok video promoting a very ‘successful’ and ‘guaranteed to work’ money mantra (in my case). However normal or bizarre your initial encounter I’m here to further attest to the power of your words. If you have a moment, I’d encourage you to take a read of an article titled ‘The Power of Saying Things Out Loud’ by Rosa Cherneva, wherein she discusses the scientific studies and tests conducted around affirming things out-loud. An interesting note, would also be our sub-conscious minds’ inability to process negative thoughts or phrases i.e. when we try and tell ourselves ‘Don’t forget to buy x on the way home’ all our mind hears is ‘Forget to buy x on the way home’, thus furthering the idea of positive and encouraging affirmations. Four things I feel are extremely important when crafting your affirmations are:

Decide what to say
Keep it short
Take note of how you say it
Turn it into a habit

Taking the above into account will put you well on your way to feeling better and keeping you motivated.

The three methods discussed above are just three of the ways I found to be most useful and that would serve our Math and Me community the best. There are a number of regular habits you can adopt that would aid you on your success mission. Things like reading and immersing yourself in productive content will never steer you wrong, so let that be my final encouragement.

Lastly, I feel it is always important to note that we are all on our own journey. ‘Comparison is an act of violence against the self’. One should strive to only compare one’s achievements to one’s goals – only in doing so do we ensure self-improvement, growth and ultimately success.

I wish you all the discernment to recognize opportunities that lie ahead this year, the tools to help prepare you for when they present themselves and finally the courage to grab them and take full advantage of them to ensure your success.

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