Degree in Mass Communication
KDU University College

IT was just another day of jotting down my tasks for the week – collect laundry on Monday, make time for the gym on Tuesday, and then it hit me… The year is nearly over! So I asked myself, “when I look back on this year, what would I have to show for it?”

Year in, year out, we fall into the trap of making resolutions for the New Year but much of our goals are unattainable and vague. Think about it – they might have seemed realistic enough at the time you thought it up but 10 months into the year, you realise just how much time has been lost. Challenge yourself and change the end of year cycle of screaming in horror at how the year has just flown by.

1. Who says you have to start on New Year’s Day?

I know, it defeats the whole purpose of calling it a New Year’s resolution but funnily enough, I have learnt (from much trial and error) that starting work on a goal on the first day of the year is usually a recipe for disaster. If my resolution for the year is going to the gym and leading a healthy lifestyle, New Year’s Day is hardly the day to begin.

Chances are your friends will want to hang out, and your family will host feasts of indulgent food. I’m human! I can’t resist that level of temptation. You find yourself in the deep end of the pool before your day even begins.

Then, sometimes it all starts out well but the pressure of keeping up from that exact date, the first day of the year, often wears you out, fast.

Same goes for starting a routine on a Monday, it has a similar effect. For most people, Monday is a slow and painful day. Who wants to be writing the first 20 pages of their novel on Monday? It is all possible, everything is possible, but try to pace yourself and turn the pressure down by starting during the week or in the middle of the month when the only pressure on your mind is the ambition to reach your goal.

2. Silence is golden

Hush! Yes dearies, keep quiet. When you are about to embark on something new, keep it to yourself until you have stayed on the routine for at least a month.

When you go about telling friends and family what you are trying to achieve, sometimes you won’t receive the feedback you expected. Your feelings could be hurt and you could be discouraged if someone laughs or pokes fun at your goal.

Your goal holds more weight when you have been doing it for a while because even then, if someone shoots you down, you will probably be confident enough to stand by your idea – especially if you have been doing it for one month already.

3. Slow and steady wins the race

Be realistic. Set small, achievable tasks that won’t suck the life out of you just by thinking of them.

For example, an unrealistic goal could be trying to lose 10kg in one month. There are probably people out there who can achieve this but at what cost?

Break it down and make it real. The best thing about this tip is that if you make your goal, say, 2kg in one month and you end up losing 4kg, the fact that you have surpassed your goal will definitely spark your confidence and give you more zeal to get other tasks done.

So there you have it, obviously there are many other tips out there that will help you achieve results with your resolutions but three are much easier to remember. Come to think about it, why wait for the New Year? If your goals are clear now, start making changes in your life today and surprise yourself with the results.

If all fails, try not to give up hope. As the old saying goes, “it is not how many times you fall over, it is how many times you pick yourself up.”

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