By the time youNew look column read this it will most likely be the last day of the year. For me 2016 has been a great year and everywhere I go I hear people declaring that 2017 will be an awesome year. I totally believe that as well.

At this time of the year we usually reflect on what we achieved (or didn’t) during the year and what we plan to do for 2017. I am a firm believer in writing out those plans because it gives them substance and somehow helps you to achieve them. When I look back at my plan for 2016, I see that I only achieved three of the things I had listed, but I’m not perturbed. Some I will take over into 2017 and others I will defer because they are no longer priorities for me.

I believe it is important not to beat up yourself over what you didn’t achieve and celebrate what you did.  So, I am happy that I published Free in the City this year as I had planned to. I successfully completed my first WINC Acceleration Program. I not only produced the pilot of my video series for the ABC’s of Entrepreneurship but I had the whole series filmed this summer and I’ll be releasing it early next year.

So what are you planning to achieve in 2017? From my experience this year I realise that writing down your plans is not enough, they have to become Burning Desires. I’m currently reading a book by Sharon Lechter, who spoke here recently at the Women of Power conference, called Think and Grow Rich for Women. It was authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation and is based on the original book Think and Grow Rich. In it she shares how to achieve, what she calls, your Burning Desire.

As the name suggests, your Burning Desire is that thing that you want to achieve or change or become so badly that you can think of little else. She shares six steps to follow to help you to achieve your Burning Desire.

  1. Be definite about what you want to achieve or the change you want to see. (For example: I want to lose 10 pounds. I want to make $1 million)
  2. Commit to what you are willing to do in exchange for achieving the impact. (For example: I will cut back on carbs and walk every day).
  3. Set the date you want to complete it by.
  4. Create a plan of action and begin it at once.
  5. Write a personal mission statement or mantra combining steps 1 to 4.
  6. Read it twice daily, once before bedtime and once every morning.

(Adapted from Think and Grow Rich for Women by Sharon Lechter)


I can tell you that this works.  In 2015 when I was trying to complete my book What Now? I had a burning desire to finish it and I did all six steps without having read Think and Grow Rich for Women. I don’t think I read my goal day and night, but I certainly said it often enough for it to get into my spirit and that helped in times when I began to despair whether I would complete my task.

I firmly believe that the reason I haven’t finished Vaucluse yet (apart from the fact that I keep discovering new things about Henry Peter Simmons) is because it has not yet become a burning desire for me. While I have been enjoying the research, writing the novel has been a challenge to be honest. As I wrote in my Author’s note, it is one thing to write historical fiction but something entirely different to fictionalize a historical figure, particularly if you want to be as true to the person’s character as possible.

So, I’m in the process of making Vaucluse and a couple of other projects into Burning Desires. I know that just by writing down my mission and beginning to repeat it every day will cause something in me to stir and propel me to achieve my Burning Desires. I’m starting with the low hanging fruit, the lowest of which is Vaucluse, since it’s already started.

I encourage you to do the same. Identify what you want to achieve in 2017 and make it into your Burning Desire. Then stop talking about what you plan to do and just do it. As Walt Disney said: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”.  We are very famous in Barbados for talking a lot and achieving a little.  Let’s make 2017 a year when we talk a little and achieve a lot.