New Year’s Resolutions? Consider these first!
As we are approaching the end of the (insert adjective) year of 2015, some of us, if not most of us will have already started to think about our New Year’s Resolutions for 2016.
I’m sure there are many of us who made resolutions such as the typical losing weight, eating better, study harder and so on and so forth. All of those can be considered as resolutions if your definition of making a resolution is to think of it on the 1st January and forget about it for the rest of the year.
New Year’s Resolutions should not be just about the talk but also the walk. We can talk all we want about what we want to achieve for the year but without any effective action, there will be no result. Over the years, every New Year, I’m sure a lot of us have heard from people like radio deejays to our motivational speakers talking about the importance of effective goal settings. I, personally have heard countless times from radio deejays every morning of countless Januarys talking about goal settings and what they want to achieve for the year. Even schools are practising that habit by asking students about their yearly ambitions and goals.
However, most of us fall of the wagon very early in the year. We applied for super expensive, overpriced gym membership, we signed up for language classes and sometimes, we even bought new and expensive books to start our dream of being an entrepreneur but to end up putting them aside after a few weeks. We were so motivated at the beginning but over the days, we become demoralised and unmotivated and therefore, falling back into our old ways.
I’m sure all of you know that feeling… That feeling of enthusiasm about our New Year’s Resolutions at the start but later on, nearing February, we felt like our beds are made up of soft, velvety cushions calling on to us to sleep for longer.
Therefore, I’m sure all of you want to know how to keep that motivation going throughout the year! I’m no expert and I’m still learning, but here are the tips that I use to keep me going!
KEEP A LOG/DIARY/BLOG
I cannot emphasise enough about the importance of noting down your daily achievements. It can be in any form that you’d like. It can be in a form of a logbook like a fitness logbook to keep track of your performance, in the form of a diary to write down your feelings and the things that you do at the end of the day or in the form of a blog (I personally subscribe to this) where you can just put in your thoughts, ideas and your achievements down in one neat post every day.
Why do you need to do this? It helps you track your progression on a daily basis. It also helps to remind you of your resolutions.
One neat trick that can help is to write down your thoughts and emotions in a form of a blog or a diary. By doing that, you will be able to see what affects you mentally and emotionally. This is awesome for anyone who
Over time, as you compile your days, you will be able to reflect back and see how much you’ve grown and mature. I promise you, it will be a wonderful tool for your personal development.
ASSOCIATE EMOTIONAL MEANING TO YOUR GOALS
Do you think goal-setting is just about plucking out something that you want from your mind and put it as a goal? No, definitely not! This is what I learnt that helps anyone to stay motivated. Pick a goal or a resolution that has emotional meaning. This means that for example, ‘My goal is to get in shape’. Your next question would be, ‘why?’, ‘because I want to be confident in my own body’. Here you will see that this person associated an emotional meaning to his goal of getting into shape. It is not just about wanting to get into shape but instead, it is to be more confident.
By associating emotional meaning to your goals, you will become more motivated as you remind yourself the reason for wanting to achieve that goal.
I personally used this method for my studies. I wanted to study not for myself or for the sake of getting a good course in university but instead, it is to make my parents proud. I wanted to make them happy and being Asian…
This is a document from milkthepigeon.com and it is a wonderful blog for those lost and unsure of what to do with their lives.
CREATE PROJECTS & NOT JUST GOALS
Do not just create small goals that may not achieve much but instead create life-changing projects that will propel you forward in self-development. Here’s what I mean, consider the average person. He has a goal. His goal is to keep fit. However, instead of making it a goal, he creates a project. His project would be to become fit. Ehh… what’s the difference?
A goal is a destination, a final result that you want to achieve. However, a project is a goal embedded within a process. A project contains many things, a plan, a system and an execution. By simply changing the term from goal to project, you become more focused on the process of achieving that goal instead of being focused on a goal which, in your current state, might seem unreachable.
By creating projects, you see every small progress as a step nearer towards your final goal like a miner, slowly inching towards gold.
Let’s use the example of that average person. Let’s name him Joe. Joe wants to be fit. He starts his project called Project Fit. So, what does he need? He needs a plan, a system to go through that plan and execute. He decides on a plan to exercise so and so per week. He has a system of tracking his caloric intake and a food log along with his exercise log. With all those things done, he execute it! However, if he were to just have a goal of being fit. It would be something like this… Joe’s goal is to be fit… Then nothing… No plan, no system and no execution.
CREATE A PROJECT WHICH SCARES YOU
It is easy to have a resolution of wanting to start learning a new language. You can simply achieve it by signing up for some language classes. Easy. However, what you want is to have a resolution or a project that scares you… well… a little. You may think… isn’t it counterproductive to scare yourself away from what you want to achieve? Well, no. By having a resolution that scares you a little, it challenges you to improve yourself. Your mind knows that this is not within your comfort zone.
Back to the example, instead of wanting to start a new language, why not have a resolution of… ‘I want to be able to communicate to a native of the language’? This sets up a challenge for you and create that fear within you so that you’ll keep practising.
HAVE A RITUAL
Woah… a ritual? Is this some black magic nonsense? Well, NO! A ritual is a set of things that you do to prep yourself for the day ahead or a set of things that you do to calm yourself be focused. These are some examples of what are rituals, albeit a wee bit extreme.
Therefore as you can see, rituals are just some things that keeps you focused on your goal/project at hand. It helps you to prep yourself for the day ahead by keeping your mind clear and sticking to the things that you are familiar with.
A ritual can be very simple. I personally have a ritual before I begin my day which is to go and have a shower, a good breakfast and watch some Youtube videos before heading out. The most important thing about rituals is that, it has to be something that is familiar to you. Something that is calming to you. So, go and try it out yourself!
Setting New Year’s Resolutions are never easy. Personally, I’ve been thinking about them for days. However, they are something that should be taken seriously because of the potential they have. They will definitely keep you focused on what you want to achieve for the year and at the end of the year, you will feel accomplished. We have to make the best of our time especially in a time-hungry era and one of the best ways to do it is to have New Year’s Resolutions. Have a great year ahead!