Good, better, best.  Never let it rest.  Till your good is better and your better is best.

St Jerome

The year has begun with so much momentum. It started slow but it is picking up and already there is a lot of interesting things happening. 

At the beginning of 2016 and 2017 I shared my New Year resolutions and my expectations for some specific areas I wanted to see a lot of change in. This year, I decided not to begin with the usual resolutions but since it’s the beginning of the year it is still useful to write about my own strategy and expectations for the year.

The fact is that we have so much to do and achieve as a country and as individuals we all need to find out what we can do to make things better. I believe we all have our nice individual goals and aspirations and we also have to find out how our goals fit into the national goals and if possible global goals. Our thinking and actions cannot be in isolation. We need the state to provide certain basic things to enable us to achieve our own goals and at the same time we also need to connect with the rest of the world.  Most importantly our work and the businesses ride on the back of the economy and we cannot sit back passively and plan in isolation.

We have just seen the end of the World Economic Forum and I believe you may have picked some pointers from the outcome of the meetings. No matter what you are engaged in, you have to see things from a global perspective and examine how it impacts the country, your region, your community and you as an individual. Until we begin to think like this we can pretend to be living happily in our own small world only to wake up to realize that we have totally missed certain opportunities.

Global projections about the economy, skills development and needs, technology, its usage and applications and even the weather gives a certain indication of what we should do and not do. According to Goldman Sachs and other renowned economists, for the first time since 2010, the World economy is outperforming most predictions and they expect the strength to continue. According to them, slacking is diminishing in most advanced countries and it is important to ask what this means for us and what we stand to gain from it.

Moving away from that, there are so many things that keep recurring year on year and by now we should know what we need to put in place to make things better and if necessary what remedial measures we have to put in place.  For example, in Ghana, we know when floods occur and which part of the country is mostly affected. We expect city planners to manage this. In a similar vein, individuals who live in communities affected by flooding should put in interventions that will help them deal with it.

For instance, as individuals, whether married with children or not, we should know where the big budgets will be and when they will be made and we have to prepare for them. For example, parents know when their children’s school fees are due and when they are expected to pay rent. However, some parents do not put in any plan and when it’s time for them to pay their children’s fees they pretend as if they suddenly woke up to realize they have children.

Every individual must have a plan for their lives and every year there is an opportunity to continue with it or alter it. This must be done taking into consideration the prevailing conditions and your own unique circumstances.   If that plan is written down clearly with timelines of when to implement them, it is even better because it provides a good reference for tracking and monitoring.  It has been said that failing to plan is planning to fail.

There is a lot that can be done to stimulate personal growth, community improvement and national development. All we have to do is to take a good look at ourselves, our environment, our resources and how we can combine both our resources and our skills to make things happen.

A great and fulfilling year lies ahead of us and that can only be achieved if we focus on the right things. Sometimes it appears that there is a lot of excitement about many things that do not necessarily bring value to our lives.

If there is one recommendation I can provide this year I can only say one thing – Do a self-evaluation of what you do and how you do it and ask yourself how you can make it better. There is always a better way of doing things. Even if you think you are the best in what you do in Ghana, you should be benchmarking yourself with the best in Africa.

So my mantra for this year and in life generally is exactly what St Jerome, the Priest and Theologian said years ago and which my nursery teacher taught me when I was a little girl – Good Better Best.  Never let it rest.  Till your good is better and your better best.