Why I’ve always been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions

It is the start of the year and with every new year comes a whole bunch of dreams and hopes for a good year ahead.

A new year also signals a wave of resolutions to be set. Things like wanting to lose weight (again), eat healthier (again), find that special someone (again).

But all of us know all too well how quickly resolutions die down after just a week or two.

However, unlike the rest of the world (except maybe a dignified few), I take my resolutions seriously and have always been a fan of them since I was 14 (I’m 21 now).

So, why am I a fan of New Year’s Resolutions?

  1. IT SETS THE COURSE FOR THE YEAR
    All of us have many goals/dreams that we want to achieve and some are dreams that we’ve held on for years. Furthermore, as we live through life, more and more of such dreams occur to us, piling up on the long list of things we want to achieve before we die. Therefore, by prioritising certain goals/dreams at the start of the year, we are able to focus on what truly mattered to us and work towards them for the rest of the year, putting everything else on hold.
  2. IT’S A CALMING EXPERIENCE
    To me, goal setting is a calming experience. It allows me to bring myself to the centre stage and bask in the limelight even for just a few minutes. It helps to refocus my thoughts, ideas, dreams and aspirations, and what I truly want (not what others want). It allows the individual to refocus life on himself (or herself) and give themselves 100% of the attention. Furthermore, the ticking off of checkboxes is such a motivating feeling and drives you further to achieve those long-term goals.
  3. DEFINES WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE
    I’m using the word ‘define’ pretty loosely here. Of course, mere resolutions are not things that should define you, however, I believe that resolutions are more like spices and condiments that add flavour to your life. By setting resolutions, I believe that it gives us a peek into who we’re going to be in the future and that motivates me to work on those said resolutions.

Those are just a few of the many other reasons why I have always been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. May we set good ones and strive hard to achieve them by the end of the year.

P.S.
I think people set resolutions that are doomed to fail. They will set resolutions that are not considered and thought of deeply. They did not spend time pondering and reflecting on what they really want and instead set resolutions that came off of the top of their head.

We need to think of resolutions less of a wish but more of a work-in-progress.

Stop wishing, start hustling.

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Good Bye 2016, What’s Next?

I don’t know.

To be honest, that was what 2016 was like, full of I-Don’t-Knows.

2016 was wonderful and it was a year where I had learnt so much, made so many wonderful friendships and learnt truly a lot about myself and I guess, attained self-awareness.

2016 was the year I ORD-ed from serving the nation in the Singapore Civil Defence Force,
2016 was the year I became a student of the National University of Singapore,
2016 was the year that I’ve forged unexpected friendships (how I entered Silat without much consideration),
2016 was the year I opened myself up to many new things (joining two ad-hocs without much consideration),
2016 was the year I lived my dream of being a college student,
2016 was the year I started to put more focus into my writing,
2016 was the year I became obsessed with Casey Neistat and his art of vlogging,
2016 was the year I truly strived to be a better person,
2016 was the year that I squatted heavy (52.5KG per side),
Most importantly, 2016 was the year I hustled.

There are many things I’ve failed to achieve in 2016 but there are also many things that I achieved. There were also many detours and unexpected things that happened that made my 2016 so much more beautiful.

I’ll be posting up my goals and resolutions for 2017 and also a reflection on how my resolutions for 2016 had turned out to be.

P.S. However, in my opinion, 2016 had been bloody and brutal for the outside world, but 2016 was needed for the world to wake up.

Even though there might be things that we had hoped could have been better in 2016, let’s refresh ourselves and move forward to 2017 with renewed hope and vitality.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS? CONSIDER THESE FIRST

New Year’s Resolutions? Consider these first!

 

Credits to geckoandfly.com
Credits to geckoandfly.com

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.

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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!