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Experiences

Second Chance Resolutions

Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls have trouble sticking to New Year’s resolutions. That’s just a fact. If you’re a gorgeous gorgeous girl who is still following your NYR, good job! Keep it up! (You can stop reading now.)

But for the rest of you gorgeous gorgeous girls (gays, theys, etc.), we’re gonna figure out where we went wrong, and how to start again.

Now, I absolutely *LOATHE* SMART goals, but please humor me here. If you set a goal and didn’t follow it, let’s think about what the difficult part was for you. I’ve isolated a few of my larger barriers in completing my goals below (which, coincidentally, fall into a rough SMART outline).

Time:

Did you decide you were going to journal every day when you first wake up? I tried that too. I got nonsense gibberish. For my schedule, it made more sense for me to reflect a little later in the day, so I adjusted the time of the task. Since Morning Brain Meg was a little mushy, we used post-lunch clarity to increase our reflectiveness.

Achievable and Measurable: 

Do you have the tools to succeed? How do you know when you’ve completed the task? Do you have a visual aspect to track your progress? 

I have a possible solution for you. I went into Canva (and completed about 20 practice projects) and designed a worksheet for myself. I write the date and three smaller goals for the day in the first third. 

The second third deals with eight normal daily tasks, like making my bed, working on my Duolingo, or reading for twenty minutes. I then have to check off 4 of the eight, so I have a little flexibility in my choices. 

The final third is a space for meeting reminders and article ideas. “Second Chance Resolutions” sat in that box until I had the time to start. By being realistic about what I can achieve in a day, and having a way to measure it, I’ve improved my routines.

Specific and Relevant:

So why the hell are you working on this? What is this new habit or skill going to help you with? Is it for fun or function? Is it both? 

Being able to point out exactly why this goal is important will help keep you motivated. Why put work into something that doesn’t matter? Outline the benefits of your new hobby/skill so you can remind yourself when motivation is wearing thin. Being specific about why this is relevant is going to help you meet your goals.

Now, my biggest issues with routine/habits fall into the Time category. I (like other college students) have a different schedule every day. Waking up at 8:30 on a Tuesday/Thursday is going to give me much less time than on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Structuring my day to have similar task difficulties at the same times (like on Mondays, working on assignments when my Tuesday class would be in-session) really helps trick your brain into regulating your time. 

Having a visual reminder to remind me of my tasks for the day, and for tracking how well I do each day, helps me keep my eyes on the prize. If you don’t want to make your own (and you have $4 to spare), you can buy a digital planner from MADETOPLAN or another Etsy shop. MADETOPLAN also makes custom files, though those are more expensive.

If your NYR has fallen flat, try deconstructing your goals, and see if you missed something. Look at what went well, and what you need more help with.

Now go forth and slay, queen.

Meg Chaffee is a junior at Winona State University studying History and Political Science. She hopes to teach high school social studies, because she wouldn’t be able to deal with her students eating smart glue during craft activities just because it has the word “smart” on it. She wrote a story on Watt-pad (during middle school, in an account she can no longer access) that received far too many votes for several awards, and no, she will not give you the name. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and watching The Good Place repeatedly on Netflix.