Just yesterday it was still 2014 but now the footsteps of the new year has arrived. Yes, Happy 2015 to everyone!
It's the start of a brand new year - the perfect time to plan what you want to change in your life.
New year resolutions have always had a bad reputation for being easy to make but darn difficult to keep. Well, if you ask me, all you need is discipline. Loads of it. If you have another person (like a partner or friend or coach) to keep you in check, I’m sure it will be slightly easier for you to stay motivated.
In the first blog entry of 2015, I would like to suggest five resolutions you can get started on.

Resolution #1: Take Inventory of Your Life Now
If you do not know where you are now, chances are you are unlikely to get to your final destination. Even if you were to ask Google Map, it will still need you to pinpoint your current location. Similarly, take stock of your life now. What’s in abundance and what’s missing? 

Map out your action plan and plug the gaps so you can be on the path to reaching new heights this year.

One of the biggest reasons why many of us are too caught up in the web of things is because there is too much clutter in our lives. Clean out everything and start on a clean slate. You can as you have 364 new days ahead!

Resolution #2: Spend Time With Your Family
Amid the terrible air disasters of 2014, the message is clear. Do not take your family and loved ones for granted. Instead, spend quality time with them. 
It can be doing simple yet heartwarming things like having dinner or a family outing. Spending time with your family helps build bonds or relationships.  

No matter what, no matter where and no matter why – your family will always be your pillar of strength. I appreciate mine for standing by me and my decisions always.
Resolution #3: Start A Business Venture
In this internet world, starting a business is no longer confined to the rich and affluent. Anyone can start a business now. Taking a cue from my personal experiences, I proudly say this because my business ventures are essentially internet driven. 
As long as you know what to sell and how to brand yourself, you will soon be on the way to closing more deals. You can do this on a part-time basis until the venture turns profitable before deciding if you want to sack your boss. 
Speak to me if you need some coaching advice on this. I’ll be happy to help you out! 

Resolution #4: Embark On A Fitness Programme
The feasting’s over. Technically this is true. We Singaporeans find every reason to celebrate by eating a lot – birthdays, parties, anniversaries, gatherings, farewells and hellos. All the good food has probably taken a toil on our bodies – shapewise!
In 2015, do something meaningful for your body. Embark on a fitness programme. It can be something manageable such as scheduling a jog around the stadium once a week. Once you get your momentum started and you start seeing results, you will naturally progress to up the ante further. You can also consider going to the gym for a workout to burn fats, lose weight and build muscle.
Just to share – when you start exercising, you will release endorphins (think happy hormones). Not only will you feel great, you will also look younger.

Resolution #5: Be Happy
Let me save the best for last. Nothing is really more important than being happy. Many times, we get too serious and sweat over small stuff in life. Chillax and take a step back. Laugh at your silly mistakes instead of beating yourself up. Forgive those who have hurt you with their actions and words as they never intended to do so in the first place.
In short, smile a little smile today. You will realise there is so much goodness in each and every one of you that is worth celebrating. Celebrate every little success as success builds on success.
Keep your moods high and spirits alive. Remember, happiness is a “contagious” emotion that is able to transform your body, mind and spirit. 
Thank you everyone for your friendships and support over the years. Usher in the new year with these 5 resolutions that are easy to make and easier to keep! I wish everyone a magical year ahead in 2015!


If I have a secret to share, would you be keen?
The secret is you owe it to yourself to become the person you want to be. 
Many times in life, we lament about missed opportunities and why others always have it easier than us. This is because the grass always seems greener on the other side. Not anymore. We are going to level that playing field once and for all.
Sounds like a bold declaration, right?
Well, just come along and attend the Groom Me workshop designed for the engineering students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. I’m 100% positive your perceptions in life will change. That’s what a powerful programme should do – leave an indelible mark on the life of the participants.
Billed as a two-parter as today’s the workshop and tomorrow’s the photoshoot, it’s also my last project for this year before I celebrate Christmas.
So, as they always say…let’s save the best for last!
From an ugly duckling to a has-been ex-ugly duckling, my story is public information. We are all capable of transformations. Think positive ones.
Trust me. It’s not about looks. It’s not about ability. It’s about how you position yourself. And that’s what is termed as branding.
Put your best foot forward and start branding yourself. Just like how we identify with brands like Nike or Disney, so too must someone else identity with your name and identity.

Remember, if you don’t brand yourself, someone else will. And the consequence will not be so favourable. You may lose that coveted job or scholarship. 

Here’s my 3 tips to branding for all readers. 

#Tip No 1: Create A Positive First Impression

There’s no running away from the absolute need to create a positive first impression. You need to be presentable not only for yourself…but also for the people around you. The people around you are the ones who may decide your immediate future or give you opportunities to shine. Of course, if you look good, you feel good too. It resonates from inside out. 

By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over the initial perception people have of you.

My take has always been to dress well and dress right. You don’t have to wear branded clothes from head to toe. In fact, that’s so cheesy. Mix and match your clothes well according to the occasion and you are off to a flying start! Keeping your face oil free too is a huge plus point. I realized most guys don’t pay enough attention to their number one asset – their face! 



#Tip No 2: Speak Coherently

You don’t have to pit your intelligence with someone else’s. Depending on the occasion, you tailor your speech to build instant rapport with your target. Whether your target is your audience or boss or client, you need to learn how to speak coherently. 
Speaking well is a virtue that can be improved over time. Some people open their mouths and out comes garbage. In today’s society where time is of essence, say what you want to say concisely so others get your message. There is no point to mumble or ramble. Both are sins in themselves.

Ever heard of an elevator pitch? Yes, you need to let your brand shine through in a mere 30 seconds or less. If I still don’t know what you are trying to “sell” at the end of the high-speed elevator trip, chances are you will be relegated to the end of the queue. Our minds are not designed to process verbosity. They have in fact been trained to listen to simple language. Cut out the huge words and give emotions to what you speak.


#Tip No 3: Build Social Proof

You don’t live for the applause like what Lady Gaga sings. Instead, you become the applause that others want to give you so generously. Your name figures prominently in the circles you move in – whether it is on campus, workplace, society and beyond. People flock to be in your company. Sounds like a mere dream?
I call this social proof. 
While people may be forgetful at time (they can even forget your name!), they will never forget that image in their subconscious mind. Images stored in the subconscious are powerful as they trigger emotions tsunami-like. In this huge repository, we remember the highs (and lows of course), the triumphs (and defeats as well)…Social proof can be effectively created by the way we lead our lives. Yes, I’m talking about being congruent. You need to walk the talk. Your life revolves around your character, your being and your doing. Your behavior is under constant scrutiny so always move in tandem to the brand you intend to create.
Like what I shared with the participants today, it really is not difficult to create a strong branding. If I, once a pock-marked, sickly and low self-esteemed guy can do it, everyone in the LT can do it too!

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