Have you figured out your new year’s resolutions yet? Believe it or not, we are already halfway through the first month of 2022. Since the beginning of December, my YouTube recommendations have been filled with superficially self-disciplined influencers trying to prepare themselves for the new year. It seems as though 2021 has passed by in a blink of an eye, especially with the monotony of the seemingly never-ending pandemic. To me, the past two years have been a blur. I can’t quite recall the exact things I have done since staying at home has made me lose all the motivation to be productive. After living aimlessly for two years, I have finally realized the importance of creating resolutions and goals as they can guide us towards the person we want to become and allow us to live with purpose. If you have also been living without goals and motivation, then it is time to sit down and think about what you want to achieve this year.
Divide your resolutions into categories
In the past, I have tried writing down one extremely long list of resolutions. They may be really motivating to look at initially, but over time, I find it overwhelming trying to decide which one to focus on first. To make a more organized list, come up with the categories you want to work on before the actual resolutions. For example, my resolutions currently consist of six categories: personal, academic, wellness, relationship, finance, and work. Having the categories ready helps keep your thought process organized and efficient. Under each category, I recommend writing down three to four so that you do not lose all your motivation and feel overwhelmed when you go back to them for reminders.
Make sure your resolutions are attainable
I do not know how many of you are like me, but I find that I often overestimate my execution ability, creating unrealistic goals. The thought of “I will wake up and be a whole new person tomorrow” pops up in my head every time I have to make a list of some sort. It is important to set goals that are within our reach as the process of attaining them requires a clear plan with baby steps and high levels of effort. Many of you might have heard about the SMART method; it’s a good tool to get you started with making realistic and attainable goals. Still, I think that if a goal is quantifiable and within your own capabilities, then there is minimal chance for failure.
For example, my initial goal was to read one to two books every month, but because I am not a huge fan of reading and know that it takes me a while to get through a book, this resolution is not curated for the steps I need to take. After re-evaluating myself, I changed it to reading one book every other month, which is more achievable than my previous goal. If the goal has numbers in it, adjust that number depending on your personal capability to make it more attainable for you.
Combine your resolutions with a habit tracker
So now that you have made your resolutions, how are you going to know if you have successfully achieved them? This is where a habit tracker comes into play as it allows us to track our progress and gets us back on track after the screwup. Using a habit tracker and having quantifiable goals are the perfect pair because you need something to motivate you to stick with the goals in the short term and show you that you are on the right path. For example, suppose your resolution is to work out three times a week: every time after your workout, record the completion with your preferred tracking method, whether that’s on a piece of paper, a habit tracker app, or the notes section on your phone. Whenever you feel unmotivated, this can serve as a visual cue to remind you to act. Recording your success in the moment feels very rewarding, and when you look back on the records in the future, you will pat yourself on the back and become inspired to enhance your goals.
As suggested in the title, it is never too late to start making resolutions. You can start any time, even halfway through the year. You do not need to wait for another year to come around to give it a go. What matters is the thought of accomplishing something that is meaningful to you and makes you proud of what you have done. Every year is a learning process and a process of self-discovery. Be flexible when life gets in the way, as you can always go back and edit your resolutions to make them suit your current life routine. So, what are you waiting for? Let us all strive to become the best version of ourselves this year.