Monday 15 January 2024

Resolve To Succeed Financially: I now have knowledge I am not poor anymore said Amos Wekesa

Photo by From YouTube

 By Arthur Moses Opio

"If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already... Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing." ~ Abraham Lincoln

A friend of mine called Moses Isiagi resolved he was going to do his Masters in University of Cape Town in South Africa. With that resolve, he kept applying and one day, he tells us, I have gotten an offer, I have been accepted. 

The daunting task now was the money for fees, ticket and many other things. For him, the key thing was to get there. He talked to a few friends and some money was raised. To cut the long story short. He found his way to South Africa, studied and graduated and is now pursuing a PhD. The journey wasn't an easy one, there were so many ups and downs, tough nights, brokenness, etc. but that did not break him, instead it gave him to momentum to resilient to achieve his dream.

The above quote from Abraham Lincoln to a young man who asked how he could become a lawyer is so profound. 

"Your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing". Nothing gets going until we resolve to get started. The inner determination to say, I have what it takes to build this dream is the first step in ensuring the vision or dream gets started. 

While listening to a TikTok video with the handle @cleaningtheairwaves that has been making rounds on social media, I couldn't hold back but put this excerpt into this article as it speaks to the topic of resolve. 

The interviewee Rinah Hicks said, "It will help you so we started that journey how did you identify what do we do and he’d come we sit we talk and he would bring 2000. The first amount he bought was 5000. He used to earn part time I think when he came here, he had earned 19,000 shillings and he gave us 5000 to start his journey. He started his journey and I worked with him for four years. After four years I had grown and moved into a different department and I handed him over to a friend of mine. 2011 Richie now I am approving payments I’m now in operations and I see his a check and a request for payment and I see his name on this thing and it’s 2.4 million shillings. I called him, "Please can we have coffee? Like how did we get here. So what are you asking me? I was consistent sometimes it was 2000 sometimes it was 5000 and then I got to a job and then I just continued." This guy used to eat chapati dondo  once a day just so that he would save money but he remained super consistent. I asked myself, "My darling sister what is in your account at this point in time and I realized I had messed up again because I took it for granted what I had." And he told me he was putting a down payment for an office at Crawford Business Park. I am like what, "So he put his down payment, got a loan for the balance and he rented out and I think now he has paid it off but he has continued to be consistent to this day. Those days he was 2000, 5000, 10000 now it's 100,000 every month. Let me just tell you that one client is the reason I have money wise, one of the reasons.""

Dave Ramsey says, "Your income is your most important wealth building tool." Following through with the story Rinah shared of the man who said he was consistent and continues to be to this day. It seems he knew or knows something about using his income as seed to grow and produce more seeds. He invested, bought an apartment, the apartment continues to give him rent and he continues to invest? What have you resolved to do? 

My first job was as a cleaner. I was earning 10 dollars a month - Amos Wekesa

Amos Wekesa once said, "When I started doing business, it's about 5/6 years, every time my mother looked at me, she could shed tears. It's not until 5 or 6 years ago that she opened up. When I was born she was so poor that she contemplated killing me. She planned to kill me on a Friday not because she did not like me but because the conditions were very difficult for her." Let that sink in, poverty can be that bad, it can make us think of doing crazy things.

I watched the interview between Amos Wekesa and Wode Maya and learnt quite a number of things, he said, "I hadn't eaten meat for so many years, I looked old but I was not that old. I went and served meat and I remember walking home and I cried and told God, 'Why did you make me so poor?' that even meat is such an important thing and that day I made a renewal of my life and that if I get a chance, I will work so hard and my dream was to work so hard to eat a lot of meat."

Today Amos is the face of Tourism in Uganda, he founded PELA commodities to produce grain and he continues to pioneer in many areas in his life. His resolve to work so hard can be seen with the results of his great works through Great Lakes Safari Lodges, Elephant Plains lodge,  Primate Lodge Kibale, Budongo Eco Lodge, Simba Safari Camp, MV Kazinga (boat cruise).

"I understand poverty. I have first hand experience with poverty.  Poverty is very demeaning" says Amos Wekesa. "When we were born, I hardly ate chicken. When I came to Kampala, I went to a slum and I was paying less than 2 dollars. I had this land lady from Hell. She would go and drink and come at 3AM tell me how poor I was."

"My first job was as a cleaner. I was earning 10 dollars a month. I never used to use a car. I would walk 20kms for 3 hours, that was my normal life, I never used to question it but it was also hard, I went to a good school for A-levels, most of my classmates went to University and to be honest it was one of the toughest times finding my former school mates and trying to say, 'hello' some of them would see me from far and cross the road." Amos further says, "One thing I have discovered about life is that once you have done your best in the small job you have been given, the voice will be clear that it is time to move on. But if you go to a job and complain, you will not hear that voice. There is a lady who used to make me katoogo of beans and cassava, I would go home boil and take 3/4 in the evening and 1/4 in the morning. That was my life, from Monday to Monday because I couldn't afford anything."

"For my third job, I became a Tour guide." says Amos Wekesa, "That's when I discovered my gift." I guided the dutch people and I was earning 1 dollar a day and God is my witness, "For my first trip we were doing a camping trip and I guided these guys for15 days, my boss gave me 1,000 Uganda Shillings. I sat in the car and I cried and I said man, after 15 days."

Cutting Water Melon Story: Resolved To Never Ever Be Poor Again

Amos says, " The last day, we had bought watermelon from Lake Bunyonyi. The Tourists asked my boss, 'Why aren't you giving guys something to cut watermelon?' I remember the boss saying, ''You see that guy, I am paying him almost nothing but he can never do better than this in his life. That day In front of Tourists, 'I stood up and I said, but in my life, I will never ever work for you again and I can promise you, I will never ever be poor, I am leaving you today and I will never work for you again. I am just tired of the same stories. The tourists were shocked, they knew I was poor, 'I said No! I now have knowledge I am not poor anymore, I knew my gift and I knew I  was good with tourists and with Tourism as a subject. I went and got my last job where I was a desk guy and earning 35 dollars a month.' So I worked for a year and saved up 200 dollars. On 22nd April, 2001, I registered for Great Lakes Safaris. and 23rd April, 2001 I started Great Lakes Safaris. I looked out for opportunities for weddings on Thursdays, I would show them I have cars for weddings. I would make 5 or 10 dollars. Everyday by 6AM, I would be at the washing bay to make sure the cars were clean and I hand them over for 9 months and that's what made me survive, then I saved up for my first office under a stair case. It was a good location. My first employee was earning 20 dollars a month but it was hard and many voices kept coming."

We all know who Amos Wekesa is. His story highlights how he resolved against all odds to not be poor ever again, this reminds me of a story of a lady called Lisa Nichols echoed a similar statement, “I will never be broke again”

We must resolve, that's the starting point. You can tell yourself, "I will save 5, 10, 20m in one year, I will reach half a billion by 40, I will save and invest 'x' amount of money every month, I will study financial education so that I can make better money and investment decisions, etc."

In the interview Amos shares a line that says, "When I think about poverty and how much I went through poverty, I do not waste any resource that I get as a person. In fact, a day of a hungry man, should be a day of inspiration for him."

Abraham Lincolns Story:

Digging a little deeper into the story of Lincoln, From his book, "How To Develop Self Confidence and Influence People by Speaking." Dale writes, "Lincoln walked to borrow every book within fifty miles of his home. Log fire was kept all night in his cabin sometimes he read by the light of the fire. As soon as it was light enough to read in the morning, he rolled over his bed of leaves, rubbed his eyes, pulled out a book, and began devouring it."

We wonder why Lincoln had some of the best speeches but it goes back to his resolve, determination and thirst for knowledge. If he could walk within fifty miles to read, have a log fire to read, wake up and read, then what he pictured himself becoming allowed him to embrace the pain of the process.

How do the above insights and stories from my friend who went to study in SA and Lincoln speak to us about our personal finance. Some people sit back thinking it's too hard to attain what the high fliers are attaining. The high flyers are up there because they went an extra mile. They did not just stop at believing or saying, "I wanted to be wealthy." They acted on their dreams inspite of the hardships they faced. 

  • It is possible to get out of debt, you must resolve;
  • It is possible to start investing and living a debt free life but you must resolve.
  • It is possible to attain any kind of education without excuse but you must resolve.
  • It is possible to fund that dream, company, factory from your savings and investments but you must resolve.

 “Fuss has never led anyone to success.” says Julian Wilson. With your determination and plan, get yourself rolling. As Amos Wekesa kept growing, he kept saving and investing for his next goal just like he did to register his company, to rent his first office space under a stair case, to buy his first car for business, etc. 

I conclude this by rechoing what Amos said when he resolved he would never be poor again, He said, "I said No! I now have knowledge I am not poor anymore, I knew my gift and I knew I  was good with tourists and with Tourism as a subject."

We can see from his experiences, he kept gathering knowledge and every experience contributed to his growth. Knowledge is important and many people perish for lack of it. This applies to any discipline including financial education. Dr. Sunday Adelaja says,"Your pocket might be empty today, but if your mind is filled up, then you are not poor. It is just a matter of time before your filled mind will cause your pocket to be filled up." and Benjamin Franklin says, "Take the money out of your pocket and put it in your mind."

Let us resolve to be great and grow in our financial knowledge because as Abraham Lincoln told the young lawyer, "Your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing." Those who learn, earn. Resolve today to get that big hairy financial goal. Resolve to have financial peace, freedom, investments, etc.

Thursday 11 January 2024

Peril of Poor Money Management: I Was Careless and Foolish

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

"Wealthy people manage money well while poor people mismanage money well." ~ T. Harv Ever

Not managing money well can make life as hard as a rock. Joshua not real name always took a lazyfe approach towards the things he did in life including money management. He often received money, used it without planning or accounting for it. He never tracked his money to know what he spent on. He got a good paying job and he was their accountant. The job of an accountant comes with a lot of responsibility. To cut the long story short, his bad habits of poor money management at an individual level got the best of him. At some point he couldn't account for company funds, this made him lose his job. The job loss was one of the hardest things that happened to him. It was a wake up call and he had to go through rewiring and reprogramming his financial habits and mindset.

Isaac a friend to a friend always says, “I am never with money even when salary comes in, it goes quickly without any major developments.” All this points to his financial management. Is it an upbringing issue or stubbornness?

When T. Harv Eker says, "Wealthy people manage money well while poor people mismanage money well," he is speaking of a high level financial skill and money mindset that we all need to have. 

Our mindsets and habits have been wired by what we have heard, seen or specific incidents that have happened to us from childhood. We need awareness, understanding, reprogramming and reconditioning to make great changes. Money management cannot change unless we change.

Two Stories: Callie and William

From his book Poverty Mindset vs Abundance Mindset, Dr. Sunday Adelaja shares a story of Callie Rogers. She was Britain’s youngest-ever lottery winner who wasted away her money on drugs, booze and cosmetic surgery. It is said, she became so depressed, she even (allegedly) attempted suicide three times. Adelaja writes, "Rogers was introduced to cocaine by a boyfriend and spent over $400,000 on the drug in six years before getting clean. She also got breast implants, fancy cars and more. Rogers was so broke, she could not even afford to have favorite gift for just 99 cents! Now that Rogers is broke, she’s back home living with her parents and works as a maid." 

Adelaja shares another story about William “Bud” Post: He writes, "You would think winning the lottery for $16.2 million would be a dream come true. But like almost every other case, it soon turned into hell on earth. William “Bud” Post had just $2.46 in his bank account. He just finished serving 28 days prison term. To afford lottery ticket, Post sold a ring for $40 and purchased 40 lotto tickets. Two weeks after winning, Post went on a spending spree... spending more than $300,000 on buying a restaurant, a used-car lot and an airplane. William “Bud” Post died 18 years after his big win. He admitted he was both careless and foolish, trying to please his family. He eventually declared bankruptcy and died with over a million dollars indebtedness. He allegedly remarked that “I was much happier when I was broke.

With those two stories with sad endings, money management must be over emphasised and one must understand what money is, know their financial blueprint to avoid having such endings.

Have a System

For people who manage money well. One of the key things they have is a system. James Clear shares from his book Atomic Habits and says,  "We don't rise to the level of our goals but we fall to the level of our systems."

A system is very important in ensuring we have the blueprint or the foundation to enable us build the house or houses that will last for years to come.

In his book System Building: The key to resolving every problem and attaining every goal Dr. Sunday Adelaja says, "The lack of understanding of a systematic approach to resolving different problems makes a majority of us attempt to use our strengths to solve every problem that comes our way but always fail. As a result, we stupidly waste our energy, we get tired frequently, disillusioned, and depressed by our low results and general inefficiency in life."Often, this kind of life leads to nervous stress and negative effects on our health.

Relating this to money management. The ANTS have a system and in their system they know there is summer where they do the harvest and winter where there is no activity. It is written they have no ruler, governor but they work together to ensure they gather and store. What do you do in your earning years/time? When Joseph knew there would be 7 years of famine, he was made governor and asked for a fifth of the produce(20%). It is prudent for you to set your financial system in order in this year 2024. Could it be the 50/30/20 rule? Whatever it is, have a system.

It is important to know how you are going to earn, save, invest, budget, track expenditures and give to the people who will need it. 

Some people only have a system/blueprint of spending. Whatever money they earn, they are thinking about the next hangout, party, clothes, shoes, car, etc. Paul Busharizi says, "If your spending was biased towards consumption and away from investment, you are barely making ends meet, regardless of your salary. If on the other hand your spending was biased towards investment and away from spending, you probably are better off than the average person around you."

This reminds me of Proverbs 21:20 - "The wise have wealth and luxury but fools spend whatever they get." As part of your money management, your desire should be to have wealth and how do we get wealth, it comes through investing. 

In your system, investing must be part of it just like we are taught in the parable of the talents. If you want to be the fool who mismanages money well, it's written that as the money comes in it gets out fast, its spent in every way possible. 

Don't be a fool. William "Bud" Post said, "I was careless and foolish." Be wise. Your wisdom will reward you.

Paul Busharizi says, "Eating our money provides instant gratification and also has the added bonus of making us “look” rich. While investing our money, not only will the benefits come sometime down the road but also chances are people will not know about it and therefore will not know that we are rich."

In his book the Psychology of money, Morgan Housel says that, "Wealth is hidden, it is not seen." There are so many people who are flamboyantly buying this and that to try and show off and they following every one who posts things on social media, you are keeping up with the Joneses but your pocket is not keeping up with them, You are broke! and you will continue to be broke and it will show even in your latter years. Paul says, "While investing our money, not only will the benefits come sometime down the road but also chances are people will not know about it and therefore will not know that we are rich."

You have to ensure that instant gratification is dealt with, not trying to show off because who cares, just care about yourself and do the right things to cater for your future. 

In his book Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe says,  

"He always said that whenever he saw a dead man's mouth, he saw the folly of not eating what one had in one's life time. Unoka was, of course, a debtor and owed every neighbour some money, from a few cowries to quite substantial amounts."

Don't be like UNOKA, he was;

  • Lazy
  • Poor and couldn't provide for his family
  • Heavily indebted.

"In his day he was lazy and improvident and was quite incapable of thinking about tomorrow. If any money came his way, It seldom did, he immediately bought gourds of palm-wine."

Manage your money well. The end is predictable. The wise have wealth and luxury while fools have nothing(they spend whatever they get.) 

Saturday 6 January 2024

Thriving in Turbulent Times: Strategies for Navigating Economic Challenges

Photo by Leroy Skalstad on Unsplash

By Arthur Moses Opio

The word crisis doesn't exist in Mandarin, the Chinese word is opportunity. Embracing the abundance mindset. You stop seeing the crisis and you start to see the opportunity ~ Tony Otoa

We all go through a crisis, it can be economic, family disorientation, marital problems or academic failure. As of November and December, 2023 our inflation as a country was at 2.6% - It did go up and with projections from the current things happening in the country like the increased debt, being removed from the Agoa list, etc. We should brace ourselves for tougher times. But how we view the tougher times, is really up to us. We can see it as a crisis or as an opportunity. There will always be someone who benefits from problems. How they prepare, their mindset towards it is key.

On Friday the 4th January, 2019 an article came up on the daily monitor saying, "Here comes 2019; tighten your seat belts, watch the money, and the politics". In the write up, the writer shares his teacup readings for what the year would hold. He said, "First the Africa's debt growing problem. Because our bureaucrats don't plan so well, they usually end up following the advice of outsiders." The writer added and said, "So they can't probably see the writing on the wall that we are constipated by debt. They will just take on more and more of this debt in 2019.

Between 2019 and 2023, a lot has happened and we have seen our debt sky rocket. An article once came out in daily monitor and they said it would take Uganda 94 years to clear its debt. Before the end of 2023, it was said that Uganda government borrowed 7trn in seven days. So yes, we are heavily indebted, government needs the money to do many things and the hight debt is not good for the common man because the taxes will be high and this will affect the pockets of every person as inflation will also kick in higher. Inflation is hidden tax that we all pay and those who understand it can either be eaten up by it or benefit from it. It's too bad that many people are so gullible, all they do is spend their money on depreciating assets and not on appreciating assets.

In an article posted on Business Insider Africa on October 6, 2023. The said, "World Bank warns Nigerian, Ethiopian, and Ugandan Central banks not to overplay their hand." Some of the details mentioned were, "If monetary and fiscal actions are not adequately coordinated to bring down inflation, the risk of de-anchoring inflation expectations would fuel further inflation, accelerate interest rate increases, and exacerbate the deceleration of economic activity.

If inflation wasn't brought down, there would be further inflation. Inflation basically means, we use more money to get our goods and services. Things become expensive. Meaning if you have no extra source of income, you are one emergency away from losing everything including your savings.

With the double digit inflation that hit us, the World Bank asked that these things be dealt with including managing inflation. For those who love saving money in the bank, your money loses value everyday due to inflation. Robert Kiyosaki is famously known for pushing the thought that savers are losers. He pushes many people to invest. That's what the wealth do. If they save, they save to invest not save to save and what they have in the bank is just for emergency.

In 2022, an article came up in the Nile Post, saying, "Tighten your belts, Minister tells Ugandans who can't afford a belt." Minister Baryomunsi said, "Referring to this economic crisis as international may not be the solution, but it's a fact. The solution to this economic crisis is to tighten our belts."

The idiom of tightening our belts is something we were always taught from childhood and this was to tell us to be frugal and manage our resources well. 

It's now 2024 and we might not be able to control 98% of the external things that will affect the economy like weather, global fuel prices, dollar rate, high debt, etc. We however have the 2% and yes tightening our belts is one of them. 

After sharing some insights from my #FinancialFriday tips that I post about on my X/Twitter handle every Friday. A friend of mine in our basketball WhatsApp group said, "Also share strategies to navigate these hard days. Brothers and sisters are choking and stagnant."

I responded by saying, "Thanks. I believe we can all give input. I will put together a small write-up on that.

I have shared a picture of what we are currently in as a country and indeed times are hard but even in these hard times, those who have knowledge to navigate it will come out on top.

“I would like people to recognise in looking at my story that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. It’s not the environment, it’s not the other people who were there trying to help you or trying to stop you. It’s what you decide to do and how much effort you put behind it.” ~ Ben Carson

With insights from Ben Carson's quote, there are things we must do as individuals even in hard times, the crisis can become an opportunity  so while thinking about whether to write later, I started jotting down these thoughts and shared them as listed below:

Avoid Worrying

The first thing anyone ideally should do is avoid getting stressed or worrying. It is written that by worrying, we cannot add a thing to our life. Anxiety is one of the things that should be under our feet and we should be on top of it.

Worrying affects our thinking, and it can lead us to make decisions that can hurt us even more.

Instead of worrying about how money will not be enough, plan and budget for your finances, know where your money is coming from and where it should go. 

Learn a skill that can help you solve a problem. When problems are solved, you get paid because you have brought value to the market place.

Reduce your expenses. Do not let lifestyle inflation get the best of you. Keeping up with Jane, John and Jack won't help. Don't let what you see flashed on social media mislead you. Run your own race. Live and work within your means as you also increase your means. 

If you want to have fun, plan for it. Do it on plan and purpose. Don't only save for a rainy day, also save for a joyous day. That day out with friends, family, etc. plan for it. Don't get excited about the next hot concert, a lot of people out there are planning to take money out of your pocket. So plan where your money should go instead of letting the voices behind Momon take centre stage.

Educate Ourselves

Secondly, we need to educate ourselves. A lady called Tornabi says, "That thing we fear, we should get out and educate ourselves about it." Is it a business that we fear, investing, building an emergency fund, networking, etc? 

Educate your yourself on matters of finance, things like behavioural finance, your financial blue print, saving, investing, debt, budgeting, etc.

Educating ourselves and seeking help from those who have a blueprint can be of great help.

Many of us are always told to have faith, but on top of our faith, we must add virtue and knowledge and other things.

Why does knowledge come out strong? It is written that even if it cost you, get understanding and knowledge. It is also written that my people perish for the lack of knowledge. It's even worse if we know knowledge or truth and we reject it. God also rejects us and nature and people will reject us too.

Act on The Knowledge

Thirdly, when armed with the knowledge and you are certain and have weighed other options, we must act. Inaction or being in a valley of indecision can be quite costly. 

While gathering data, Rolf Dobelli says, "Forget trying to amass all the data. Do your best to get by with the bare facts. It will help you make better decisions. Superfluous knowledge is worthless, whether you know it or not." Daniel J. Boorstin says, "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

It's written that Isaac prospered in tough times, but it wasn't easy for him, he kept being chased from one well after another after digging, but eventually the last place he dug, he was able to settle and have water.

Times will come when we must accept and cut our losses. We shouldn't be victims of the sunk cost fallacy. If it did not work, don't whine over the issue, take the lessons.

Rolf Dobelli says, "The sunk cost fallacy is most dangerous when we have invested a lot of time, money, energy or love in something. This investment becomes a reason to carry on, even if we are dealing with a lost cause. The more we invest, the greater the sunk costs are, and the greater the urge to continue becomes." He further says, "Investors frequently fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy."

Don't Wish It Was Easier, Be Better

I learnt something from Jim Rohn, he says, "Many times people wish that things were easier, but we should wish we were better."

We must be better in these 5 areas,

  1. Family,
  2. Faith,
  3. Finances
  4. Fitness
  5. Friendships

There are other things that can be added to that list, but yes, our lives really evolve around those five places.

So let's be better and don't give up.

Yes, accept that things are hard but don't give up.

Galatians 6:9 says, "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not."

Someone reading this might need to pick up the pieces and start all over again. I shared some insights in this article on how you can do it. Giving up is not an option.

And lastly in the words of Jerry Rice, Former NFL player and Hall of Famer, he said and I quote, "I will do what others can't do today so that tomorrow I can accomplish what others won't."

What sacrifice are you willing to make to enjoy the promise of tomorrow? Our grandparents always had granaries in their compounds and this was for food security and storage of seeds for the next planting season. That wisdom kept homes a float and even in hard times, they had where they could deep their hands without depleting the resources.

Hardwork, discipline, order, sacrifice, etc. can be of great help.

Thursday 4 January 2024

Unlock Your Success: Master The Art Of Starting Your Year Strong

By Arthur Moses Opio


It is Jerry Rice, who said, "Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t."  This statement gets me going each time I am launching myself into any kind of activity. I imagine what inaction will make me miss or if my full potential won’t be realised. 

It is written in Psalm 37:23 , "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighted in his way."

On the 1st of January, 2024. I did my first run. It was the first workout of the year. First of all, I slept late at 1:00 AM and yes, just like everyone else, I was waiting for the new year to come through. I did this crossover in a simple way. I opted for a camp fire with my neighbours and we ate and talked through the night about so many things key to our lives like parenting in this day and age, being responsible people, etc. 

Early that morning, when the birds were chirping and the skies were fully open. I kept debating with myself whether I should or shouldn’t run. I even started saying, I can do this in the evening but I knew the importance of getting this done early morning. We agreed with a neighbour of mine to run and as I waited for his call, I realised I needed to walk to his gate. He said, “Man, hadn’t you come, I wasn’t also going to run.” 

Starting Your Year The Right Way

This brings me to the heart of this message. It is important how you start the year. Between 2023 and 2024, there is only one person who stands in between and that’s you. You are going to be the reason for your success, progress or failure. 

We rise to the level of our goals and fall to the level of our system says, James Clear. In 2023, I had a system for my fitness routine. I run 3 times a week and ensure I did not miss twice as James Clear teaches. 

For anyone to be successful at anything, you have to be disciplined to follow your routine, order and discipline. Thanks to what I was already doing, I told myself, get up, dress up, put on your running shoes and get out to run. Just that act alone was the first step in getting myself into the routine that helped me last year.

If God is ordering your steps to improve your family, faith, finances, fitness and friendships. Why aren’t you taking the step to go out and do it right away? Do we need reminders from God about the ANT, how wise it is and that we should learn from its ways. ANTS act, they work together even without a ruler or governor.

You have an opportunity to compare yourself with who you were last year and what you want to be this year. Self discipline on your side will be the key ingredient in ensuring that everything you want to see happen, happens. 

What is it that you want to achieve?

Is it still lingering in your head? Have you taken a step to write it on paper and start working towards it. Is it your savings and investment goals that you want to improve? Is it exploring Unit Trust funds and Treasury Bonds in this year?

Is it having a better relationship with your family members? Is it getting healthier or fitter this year? Is it joining an investment club? Whatever your goal is, no one will come and do it for you. You have to muscle the energy within you, strategise, plan and purpose to be intentional on getting where you want to.  

On the side of my financial journey. I made the first deposit of 70,000 UGX into my Unit Trust fund. It is little money but the habit, the act of getting that started was very important for me because I know strongly that we are creatures of habit and when you choose to never start, it becomes the song through out the year as procrastination gets the best of you as a person.

Build an Emergency Fund

Towards the end of last year, there was a headline in the NilePost that said, "Kanungu, Rukungiri, Ntungamo workers miss December salary" Imagine this was you last year. 

Wouldn’t you want to start building your emergency fund? Emergencies happen, school fees is also becoming an emergency after people blow up all their savings in December festive celebrations. We forget what the scriptures tell us, "The wise have wealth and luxury but fools spend whatever they get(Proverbs 21:20)"

Everything you are going to do is going to require a system. James Clear says, "We rise to the level of our goals but fall to the level of our systems." Like the ANTS, have a system for food security, financial security, family security, fitness, friendships, etc. Set the found right for everything you want to do. We can do it, it is possible. Let us stop living by chance and forget that our faith needs knowledge, needs wisdom, needs people to support us, etc. Don’t only wish for a better 2024, wish you are applying the knowldege you have, you are wiser, better, more knowledgeable, etc. 

Don't Have Self-Pity

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Do not have self pity on yourself. Stop whining, get out and act on what needs to be done. Develop the mental fortitude to sail through and learn the lessons from your past mistakes. You are enough, you are capable and you got what it takes to come up on top or close to the top.

Make your dream work by working it.

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