We're approaching the end of February, and there's a relatively high chance that if you had a new year's resolution, it's already been abandoned. Why do we set resolutions in the first place? It seems people have a desire to improve continually, but achieving it might not be that easy, depending on how strict we are with ourselves.
Now, I'm not here to shame anyone for not keeping to their goals, and in fact, I would argue that goals can be rephrased to improve your chances of success. I'll be discussing two philosophies on reaching your goals, and neither of them is necessarily right. Remember, people are different, and a technique that works for one might not work for the other. But, without further ado, let's get into the first principle: SMART.
SMART is an acronym that most commonly stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations, where A stands for Accountable and R for Realistic. Either way, it's an effective way of defining your goals, so it's easier to succeed. Let's delve a bit deeper into these points:
"The phrasing of themes makes them impossible to fail. Therefore, you should never lose motivation to continue."
You might have heard of those before, and you tried it out, but it just didn't work. If that's the case, try tricking your brain with a different strategy: themes. In some ways, it's the total opposite – turn your goal into a theme and make it vague. An example of this would be a year of health. Try to actively think every day of the little decisions that you could do to influence your health positively. The phrasing of themes makes them impossible to fail. Therefore, you should never lose motivation to continue. If your general trend of health is going upwards, that means you're improving overall. Themes are flexible and could change over time – perhaps you'll exercise more during summer, and eat healthier during the winter. If you find this concept interesting and feel like trying it out, I recommend watching this video.
Regardless of what path you choose, write it down. Having a journal is an excellent way to reflect on your progress. Speaking of which, my personal "goal" this year was to start a journal. I felt like I wanted to organise my life a bit by offloading the constantly incoming tasks on paper, but I had to make sure that the format was flexible. Bullet journaling is a helpful basis, but knowing myself, I knew I wouldn't sit down to write every day, so I made it into a weekly list instead. It also gives me a chance to write down anything else — random thoughts, memories, or the progress of any other goals that I have or might come up with in the future.
I wish you good luck with your goals and remember — the new year is just another day, so if a goal is worth achieving, you can always start today.