Reviewing Your 2017 To-Be List; 6 Months To Go

“People overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can in ten”. Culled from www.kathleensiminyu.com

At the end of last year, I blogged on how to set your goals to achieve in a day, month or a year. Click here to reread it. By June 28 2017, half of the year is remaining for you to do whatever you want in 2017. So if you have set yourself some of those annual goals, it is time to review how much you have come and how much is left.

Last week, I received a notification email from my friend’s blog, Kathleen when she posted. Kathleen narrates to us a discussion she had with a techie at a tech-business-y event held in Nairobi. It was about how much one, as a person thinks he can achieve in one year and in ten. He stated, “we overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten” (want to read the whole post from Kathleen’s blog, click here). Can you just reread it and take a moment to allow that to sink in? Is it true for you?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

In a good example, Kathleen is a wanna-be polyglot. She is taking Spanish and French Languages lessons weekly. Every day, she tries to practice her language skills by watching some film series recorded in either of the two languages she intends to be fluent in. Day after day, the work became overbearing for her as she thinks she tries to achieve a lot in 24 hours. And somehow, she neglects or rather fails to see the big picture if she does a little over an entire year. Kathleen primarily focused the achievements of her goals in one day, trying to do a lot and thinking it is only the day she has while neglecting to stretch her ambitions over some months, a year or even a decade.

It is what I always aim to preach, focus on your to-be list instead of a to-do list. To-be list is a big picture list. It is the end goal. It is what you become when you do those little tasks on your daily to-do lists. Having the big picture perspective is always important.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

As such, that’s half the year is a good time to pause and review those goals you wrote down at the beginning of the year. How far have you come? Is the steam you started sufficient enough to sustain and enable you reach your goal or you have to pump it up? The time is just right to evaluate your daily, weekly and monthly targets while keeping an eye at the big picture.

For me, I tried to be committed to my set goals but flexible in my approach of achieving them. So my to-do lists has changed over time in a manner I can still arrive at where I want to be, albeit not in a good time. Many of the projects I set out to-do are lagging behind their expected time of achievement. But I guess it is natural for so many projects. It is just reality, challenges and issues causing it.

As I take the next few days to reflect what I need to do ensure I reach where I want to be by 31 December 2017, I would be considering taking more pragmatic steps. Because I have already started the journey of achieving them and experienced some challenges, it would be wise enough to factor such experiences as I set out to the second half of the year.

I invite you to take the next few days as well in reviewing your to-do and to-be lists. If you haven’t set any, there is no better time than now. For those who have already reviewed their lists, how far have you gone? Is the steam just enough or you need to pump it up? Please comment below.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

Advertisements

Deliberations of the Panel Discussion on Sustainability in Architecture in Nigeria

The built environment is responsible for the largest consumption of energy produced in the world. They have a corresponding largest global greenhouse gas emission by sector, 40% according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). How does this all affect us and the environment? Negative impacts of climate change have positioned many people in danger. It has destroyed lives and properties. Worse, it places a dark cloud for future generations. As such, there is need to reduce the impact of our built environment on the carbon footprint.

The French Institute of Nigeria and Green Habitat Initiative, on 31st of May in Abuja, brought together professionals in the built environment industry to debate the right sustainability principles and materials for Nigeria’s built environment. Four panelists drawn from different disciplines and professions that cut across sustainability in architecture were brought together to lead the discussion. After introductory speeches by the panelists, a panel discussion held between the panelists, moderated by the Director of Green Habitat Initiative Sadiq Gulma.

A summary of the viewpoints of the four panelists is highlighted below.

Nmadili Okwumabua is Nigerian and promotes modernizing African architecture in Nigeria’s cities, through her organization Community Planning and Design Initiative. Through her presentation and contributions to the discussion, she stressed the need to reclaim our heritage by not being embarrassed about using red earth for our buildings in Abuja. Through her organization, Nmadili receives entries of architectural plans modernized with African values from everyone around the globe. She has received many great entries reflecting numerous African culture and values in their design. The panelist revealed she is currently building a prototype of such sustainable houses. The model would be instrumental in advancing the movement.

Having expressed her pessimism at the beginning of her presentation, Armelle Choplin our second panelist has been following cement, what she calls ‘the grey gold’ from Nigeria through Benin, Togo to Ghana. She is concerned that Nigeria may not stop using cement in building because it is becoming cheaper and Dangote Industries is providing all the cement Nigeria needs. Through her research, she has discovered there is a social symbol and even political to the use of cement in our buildings. People who use other materials, such as red earth maybe seen as less privileged. There is a challenge of finding skilled local builders to teach foremen how to use red mud in constructing strong buildings that can go as high as 10 story building. For a paradigm shift to take place, she asserts that notable and prominent people and organizations like Dangote would play an influential role if they take the lead.

Sustainability in Architecture (41)

Having understood the local issues with the building materials in question, Mr. Stephanne Pouffary was on the panel to provide the macro vision of sustainability in cities. Through his NGO, ENERGIES 2050 he has worked with up to 30 cities all over the world including those in West Africa to help them advance their energy efficiency and sustainability goals. His contribution clarified that different cities have different priorities and motivation to go green. Our ability to personalize the codes that will drive everyone to cleaner cities. For that to work, he highlighted 3 things that needs to be done; increase professionals’ capacity in sustainability, form regional coalitions to promote goals and work out the cost benefit analysis for sustainability to go mainstream. At the end, cost drives everything.

All the talk would be in vain if there are no institutionalized policies to control and regulate the built environment. The fourth panelist, Dr. Sherif Y. Razak who is from the Department of Development Control (authority in charge of approving all building plans and development in Abuja) was on the panel to describe what the government is doing and needs to do. Currently, the Department has instituted a green building committee to vet all building submissions against certain green building concepts. However, a lot needs to be done before a bigger impact can be made. He stressed the need to increase capacity amongst professionals, including government staff. A prototype of buildings with such sustainability standards would be pivotal in influencing building policy and regulations. Therefore, what Ms Nmadili is building should serve as a good reference point for policy makers to use in changing the regulations.

After debating amongst each other, the panelists engaged with the teeming audience. Many shared their views and supported the fact that capacity needs to increase, especially amongst architects who are the chief drivers of the built environment. Many others questioned the officer from the Department of Development Control and their need to enforce the principles.

Sustainability in Architecture (39)

The event concluded with more discussions amongst participants during the cocktail.