5 Ways to start the year on the right foot

Once, there was a strong woodcutter who didn’t have a job.

He decided to ask for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it.

The job paid well, and he was determined to outdo himself. His boss gave him an axe and told him to get started.

 The first day, the woodcutter felled 18 trees.

His boss was thrilled at the hard work!

“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

The woodcutter was motivated. The next day, he tried to beat his own record.

He only managed 15 trees. And the third day, he tried even harder,but only managed 10 trees.

Everyday he was doing fewer trees, and he was disappointed in himself..

“I must be losing my strength,” the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologised, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?,” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I’ve had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been so busy trying to cut trees….”

Lessons to be learnt

Sharpening the axe will save you energy. It will save you time. And it will make your job much more polished.

In the Seven Habits of Effective People, Steve Covey talks about the importance of sharpening the axe.

He dives into preserving and enhancing our greatest assets. And, he mentions that you are the greatest asset you have.

As we move into 2023, it’s become clearer than ever that to succeed, you have to sharpen the axe.

This is about renewing the four dimensions of your nature – physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional.

How are you sharpening your axe for 2023?

If you’re doing it right, then the last few days of the year should be for reflecting on our lives. And this year, I’m sharing a couple of resources which I think you’d find very useful.

Here are the 5 ways to sharpen your axe and start your year on the right foot:

1. Write a letter to future you

Where do you see yourself at the end of 2023?

If you’re a business owner, I suppose the answers to this will look something like this:

  1. Making X amount of money per month
  2. Taking X number of holidays every year
  3. Employed X amount of people to work for me

I’ve spoken about manifestation here a couple of times. It’s no secret. I’m a big believer.

And so you can only imagine my joy when I found out about the concept of writing to your future self.

What do you say in the letter? Anything. Everything.

Doing this gives you perspective on your current situation. It makes you visualise what you want for yourself in future. And it helps you to go after it.

In your letter, don’t be afraid to dream big. Include everything you need to achieve your goals. Write your loftiest aspirations and even smaller wins.

Write as though it has already happened, describing clearly how they came into fruition.

You can either write a physical letter, or use websites like Futureme.org or The self club. If you choose the latter, you can pick the exact date when you want the letter delivered to your email inbox.

Even if things don’t pan out as you imagined, I can guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you learn about yourself in the process.

2. Plan well

Planning is an undeniably powerful tool.

In fact, for every one minute you spend doing it, you’ll save at least 10 minutes in implementation. 

And while planning wont guarantee a result, it will give you clarity and focus, arguably the 2 single most important determinants between success and failure.

At Outside ideas, we’re heavy believers in the ‘12 week year.’

We do our planning every quarter of the year. We break down SMART goals, and what is needed to do each year to achieve these goals.

And between that, we check on our KPIs, and at the end of each week, we measure and refocus.

Sharpening the axe is all about planning. And if you do it right, you get the strength to chase our goals. You become more efficient. And ultimately, you succeed.

3. The Year Compass

Writing takes manifestation to the next level.

And that’s why The Year Compass seems like a magic trick to me.

It’s an online booklet that allows you to reflect on the previous year and plan for the next one.

It has well-thought out questions and exercises that help you uncover your patterns.

It also allows you to see the tangible changes that you need to make in your life to succeed.

You can fill it in either online or physically. 

If ‘New Year, New me’ doesn’t work for you, then this definitely will. Because rather than a set of dos and don’ts, The Year Compass gives you a chance to meditate and be practical about it.

You can even use it as a manifestation guide where you get to visualise exactly what you want in the coming year.

4. Make a vision board

Have you watched the documentary or ready the book called The Secret?

If you haven’t, then I highly recommend that you do!

In the film, they have real-life examples of ways that the vision board works.

For example, a man, years after making his board, discovers that he is living in the exact house that he had put on it.

I’ve seen it happening for others. And I’ve seen it happening for myself.

This year, I won the networker of the year. I had it pinned on my vision board for four years! 

And so as you prepare to start your new year, making a new vision board should be among your top priorities.

How much money do you want in your account? What kind of relationships do you want to have? Where do you want to travel? 

You can literally put anything on there! Don’t be afraid to dream big. As they say in The Secret, the hows are in the domains of the universe.

5. Come along to Networking in…

On 4th January, I’ll be speaking at Networking in…and the topic is on ‘New Year New Plan.’

It’s the first session of the year and we’re really keen to make it a great one!

Many of us make big plans for the new year, but fall behind when it comes to execution. How can you make 2023 different?

I’ll be sharing some tips on how to create a winning plan, stick to it, and make 2023 your year.

You get a chance to tell your story, make some new connections and hear about all things planning!

I would love it if you came. Get booking here.


If you want to change your life, you have to make the decision to change your life. And if you want to see success in 2023, the time to start  your year well is now.

New Year, New me seems like a very strong commitment to make. And it’s no wonder many of us fall short by the end of the first month.

But if you take the time to plan, understand why you want to change, then it becomes much easier. It has to start from you.

Here are the 5 ways to start your year on the right foot

  1. Write a letter to future you
  2. Plan well
  3. The Year Compass
  4. Make a vision board
  5. Come along to Networking-in…

Onwards and upwards my friend,



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